Strawberry Salsa

Strawberry Salsa

May is National Strawberry Month AND National Salsa Month

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Did you know that almost 14% of people think that cilantro tastes like soap? It’s true, and it’s completely scientific.

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Microwave Mac-N-Cheese

Microwave Mac-N-Cheese

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My mom’s side of the family makes an unbeatable baked macaroni and cheese.  The ingredients?  One pound of macaroni, one pound of cheese, and one quart of milk.  Mix it all up, bake it, and eat gooey, cheesy bliss.

I am only one person, though.  I cannot eat a full pan of mac-n-cheese all on my own.  So when I recently had a hankering for mac-n-cheese, I created a quick, microwaveable version of this delicious side.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dry elbow macaroni (or in my case, Space Adventures pasta because I am a kid at heart)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbs cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 cup milk

Directions

  • Combine elbow macaroni and water in a large microwaveable bowl.
  • Microwave on high for 4 minutes, stirring when there are 2 minutes remaining and when there is 1 minute remaining.
  • Stir in cheese and milk
  • Microwave on high for an additional 1.5 minutes.
  • Eat and enjoy!

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1 Ingredient 3 Ways: Acorn Squash {Mashed}

1 Ingredient 3 Ways: Acorn Squash {Mashed}

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For my second acorn squash recipe, I decided to mimic one of my favorite dishes: garlic mashed potatoes.  I was skeptical at first of boiling the squash instead of roasting it.  However, it cooked much quicker, and the final product was amazing.

Garlic Mashed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, seeded
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chives

Directions

  • Chop squash into cubes.  You can peel the squash first or you can peel it after cooking.
  • Bring a pan of water to a boil.
  • Add squash.
  • Return to a boil and reduce to medium heat.
  • Cook 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender.
  • Drain squash.
  • On a cutting board, use a fork to mash the squash.  If you have not already peeled it, do so now.
  • Mix in garlic, salt, pepper, and chives.
  • Serve warm.

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Orange Jell-O Fluff

Orange Jell-O Fluff

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Some foods bring back memories.  My grandmother’s Orange Jell-O Fluff is not one of them…but it should be.  We eat this food at EVERY family gathering, but we never eat it on a normal day.  While it doesn’t necessarily bring back memories, Orange Jell-O Fluff does make me think of my cousins.  Then the memories pour in.  I smile as I recall games of Uno, Balderdash, and Sorry.  I chuckle at the mental site of us pretending to be ants from A Bug’s Life.  I remember riding down the “huge hill” on scooters and bicycles.  Because my family is spread across the globe, visits are sporadic, but I love making memories with them.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my grandma and I made multiple batches of Orange Jell-O Fluff.  Every batch was devoured quickly.  When I asked for her exact recipe, she chuckled.  “Well,” she said, “sometimes I use a big thing of cottage cheese, but sometimes I use a smaller container.  This time I used one and a half containers of Cool Whip.  I just always start with one box of Jell-O and add different amounts of the same ingredients to it.”

So if you don’t have exactly what is listed below, don’t despair.  This recipe is very forgiving and always delicious!

Orange Jell-O Fluff

Ingredients

  • One 6-oz. package orange Jell-O mix
  • One 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
  • One 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
  • One 16-oz. container cottage cheese
  • One 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping

(use more or less of any ingredient depending on preference)

Directions

  • Combine Jell-O, oranges, and pineapple.  Chill for thirty minutes.
  • Stir in cottage cheese.
  • Fold in whipped topping–do not over-stir!
  • Eat and enjoy!jello2

What foods bring memories back to you?

BBQ Carrot Fries

BBQ Carrot Fries

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Although I am from a town that claims to be the BBQ capital of the world, I am not a huge fan of pulled pork barbecue sandwiches.  However, I found myself in the mood for some extra-flavorful veggies today, and these BBQ “fries” hit the spot.  The tangy BBQ flavor mixed nicely with the sweet carrots to create a simple mid-afternoon snack.

The recipe below is for a single serving, but it could easily be multiplied to be served as a side-dish.  Also, most people would probably prefer a stronger BBQ flavor; feel free to add more BBQ sauce!

BBQ Carrot Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/4 tsp. BBQ Sauce (or more)
  • 1/8 tsp. chives
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice carrots into 3-inch by 1/4-inch fries.
  • In a plastic bag, combine all ingredients. Shake well so that the carrots are well coated.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and arrange carrots in a single layer on the pan.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tender.
  • Eat and enjoy!

 

What is your hometown known for?