Shrimp Pasta Salad

Shrimp Pasta Salad

Shrimp Pasta Salad, a perfect side dish, lunch, or party food! This cold shrimp pasta salad has all the good stuff - bowtie pasta, grape tomatoes, zucchini, and shrimp all tossed in a yummy pesto vinaigrette. It is a little different than your average pasta salad, but isn’t it fun to mix it up sometimes?! Pasta salad, in general, is one of my favorite summer snacks. You can load them up with fresh veggies and you have a refreshing snack for you in the fridge whenever you want! This recipe is the best shrimp pasta salad I have tried. I think it is really all about that dressing you use! The dressing for this recipe is super bright, flavorful, and easy to make! Of course, you can purchase a premade Italian style dressing. But, there is just something special about making it on your own. Shrimp and Pasta Salad Recipe Directions: Cook Pasta per the direction on the back of the box, rinse with cold water and let drain thoroughly. Roughly chop the cooked shrimp, thinly slice the zucchini, and cut the grape tomatoes in half. Throw everything into a large bowl. In a small bowl, make the dressing consisting of vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, prepared pesto, and more. Place pasta in the bowl with the other ingredients, pour the dressing on top and mix everything until well coated. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, serve and enjoy. As with most recipes, you can use this as a base to add more things that you love. Alternatives and Add-Ons: You can definitely add lots...
How To Make Homemade Guacamole Easy

How To Make Homemade Guacamole Easy

Who doesn’t love guacamole?! It is one of the best and easiest dips ever! With this fresh guacamole recipe you will see just how quick and easy it is to make on your own! Guacamole is a staple where I am from. We eat it with almost everything. And if we don’t have guacamole you can be certain we have avocados, and let’s be honest, avocados are just a good smash and a few tomatoes away from being guacamole! If you are looking for some fancy complicated recipe, then I would look elsewhere. This is how to make homemade guacamole easy. Who doesn’t love that! When I have a big get together I love to whip up some of this easy guacamole and serve it with chips and veggies. It disappears every time! To make this delicious dip simply: Mash the avocados, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Easy peasy! And if you wanted a creamier guacamole and can handle dairy you could even add a little sour cream, but honestly you don’t need to! Oh and I’ll let you in on a little secret; in the past when I didn’t have tomatoes, I just added some salsa and that worked just fine! So it really is an easy recipe that can be adjusted to what you have! Let’s just get the guacamole on the chips and in you! It really is a happy place! And you don’t have to limit yourself to chips! Put this tasty guacamole on fries, hamburgers, chicken, fish, and veggies! Seriously good! Is it just me or does guacamole make you...
Best Turkey Gravy

Best Turkey Gravy

This turkey gravy recipe is not only easy, but also THE best and most creamy, savory turkey gravy! I grew up making gravy for my family’s weekly Sunday dinner.  As a kid, I took this responsibility very seriously!  Every Sunday, my mom would make Slow Cooker Roast Beef, Potatoes, and Carrots.  I would make the gravy from all the remaining drippings and juices.  It was the final step before dinner was ready to be served and felt a sense of pride once completing. Whether you’re making beef gravy or turkey gravy, it’s the same, simple process.  Gravy is relatively simple, however it can also quickly become lumpy or too thick.  The trick is to bring the liquid to a rolling boil and start stirring with a whisk prior to pouring the cornstarch mixture.  I pour the cornstarch mixture directly over where I’m stirring with my whisk.  Also, I watch the texture closely.  Once I start noticing any thickening, I stop pouring my cornstarch mixture BUT continue consistently stirring.  After about 10 seconds, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you need to add additional cornstarch mixture. If you’re making the gravy from my Smoked Whole Turkey Recipe, the juices and broth will already be full of flavor.  However, if you test taste your gravy and feel it still needs more flavor, I would try adding salt and pepper 1/4 tsp at a time.  You should quickly reach the flavor you’re looking for. Happy Thanksgiving and Turkey Gravy making! Print Best Turkey Gravy This turkey gravy recipe is full of flavor, simple, and will perfectly compliment your turkey or any...
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce ready in less than 15 minutes and literally bursting with flavor! Easy homemade cranberry sauce is a staple this time of year! This recipe is unique because I added some unexpected flavors like honeycrisp apple, cinnamon, and rosemary! It might seem hard, but homemade cranberry sauce is super easy! All you do is chop the apple, then throw everything in a pot and let it simmer, that’s it!     I love having cranberry sauce year round. It is especially yummy on turkey sandwiches, wow! My all-time favorite sandwich is cajun turkey breast, the best cranberry sauce, and smoked gouda cheese all on a toasted multigrain roll. BEST LUNCH EVER!     If you search for cranberry sauce recipes for Thanksgiving you will find a plethora of options. But, I have never seen one with rosemary in it! It gives a nice earthiness to the sauce that I haven’t had before. It really adds a special touch!   Easy Cranberry Sauce Directions: Small dice one Honeycrisp apple. Place apple, cranberries, orange rind, water, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large saucepot over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon stick and rosemary, stir to combine. Raise heat to medium and cook until half of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir constantly. Discard rosemary, cinnamon stick, and orange rind. Let cool, serve!   See? You can’t get much easier than that!   Alternatives and Add-Ons: I really love the apple in this recipe, if you do too, add an extra apple and now you have apple cranberry sauce, score! If...
Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs, these baked short ribs are fall off the bone tender in a hearty tomato sauce. Talk about one heck of a Sunday gravy! Braised short ribs…. the name just sounds comforting, doesn’t it?! Short ribs are one of those dishes that seems super fancy to me. A lot of the time you will find them in a hearty stew or paired with a red wine reduction sauce. This version, I mixed it up a bit. To me, there is no better “gravy” or pasta sauce than one cooked with some form of beef. That way, you get all those yummy flavorful juices that run off the beef right into your sauce. It just adds a depth of flavor you can’t find in a regular marinara. I saw these short ribs on sale at the store (score!), so I picked up a pack and decided to try them in a tomato sauce. I was really craving some pasta that day… can you blame me?! Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Sauce Directions: • In a dutch oven, sear seasoned short ribs on all sides until golden brown. • Remove from pan, deglaze with white wine (swoon), add onions and garlic and cook down. • Add tomato paste and sauce, add ribs back into the pan and bake until fall off the bone tender. • Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes or rice and dig in! You HAVE to sear the ribs first. Have to. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It adds another dimension of flavor. That’s what we are doing here, adding layers of flavor and that’s what makes...
Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

I love making fresh Basil Pesto!  I figured out an easy trick so both you and I can always have pesto available whenever needed for a recipe. I simply make a big batch of pesto, spoon it into ice trays and freeze it. Once frozen, I remove the pesto cubes from the tray and transfer them into a big Ziploc bag and keep in my freezer. When I need a little bit of pesto, I just grab a cube and add to my pasta, sandwich, chicken dish, you name it!  Instant basil pesto sauce. Classic pesto usually consists of basil leaves, garlic, toasted pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan or pecorino cheese (or a blend of those two). This pesto sauce is so versatile and I am excited to help you get creative and play around with making different kinds of pesto simply by adjusting a few ingredients perfectly to your liking and curiosity. I say curiosity because I am always curious how recipes with turn out with tweaks of ingredients. I also share an easy recipe where you can follow exactly or change up the ingredients if you’re like me and want to experiment. Let’s start with the leaves. Basil is obviously the main character in any pesto sauce. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with adding other leaves. I like to add arugula, even spinach or kale which are nice dark green leaves you could mix with the basil to make your sauce. I usually tend to go 50/50 or 60/40 basil/other green leaves. Another nice alternative is garlic scapes pesto. If you’ve never had garlic...

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