Picnic-Perfect Mortadella Sandwiches

A no-mayo sandwich for picnics

A No-mayo Sandwich For Picnics

Summer makes me excited about picnics at the park, at an outdoor cinema, at a concert, or all of the above. This picnic-perfect mortadella sandwich travels great and tastes even better at room temperature. Since it is a no-mayo sandwich, you don’t have to worry about it being under the warm sun.

A no-mayo sandwich for picnics A no-mayo sandwich for picnics A no-mayo sandwich for picnics

Make the pickled onions the night before! I usually have some lying around in my fridge because I love them so much and add them to lots of different things. I love the acidity and the crunch of the pickled onions and the pepperiness the arugula adds as well.

Mortadella is a grown-up bologna (and I hate bologna). But mortadella is so delicious! It’s smooth, super flavorful and is fatty enough to not need any mayonnaise. Sometimes it’s speckled with pistachio. It’s also inexpensive! You can find it where prosciutto and salamis are sold in your grocery store.

This is also a sharing sandwich. After assembling it, cut it into little cubes and share with your friends.

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DIY Pancake Bar

DIY Pancake Bar

Create a do-it-yourself pancake bar with fresh fruit, different jams, syrups, and fun toppings so everyone can have customized pancakes with little effort on your end.

Use a boxed pancake mix and set the ingredients out on the table for everyone to build their own short stack.

DIY Pancake Bar - Create an easy breakfast by setting up a station where everyone can top their pancakes to their liking

I made a cute pancake bar for Madeline’s first sleepover. It was perfect for little girls. They had the ability to customize their own pancakes. I also imagine this would go well for any occasion including Mother’s Day this upcoming weekend (hint, hint).

I set out cut strawberries, cut banana, blueberries, raspberry jam, lemon curd, softened butter, and maple syrup. Then let everyone go to town.

Make it more fun by adding sprinkles, candies, chocolate syrup, or anything else you might have on hand.

DIY pancake bar - fresh fruit set up for topping pancakesDIY pancake bar - present topping on a board and let everyone top their pancakes to their likingbuild your own pancake bar Continue reading “DIY Pancake Bar”

Savory Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash and Kale

savory bread pudding with butternut squash and kale

This savory bread pudding recipe is made with butternut squash, kale and chicken sausage is perfect for breakfast or brunch. I’ve even had it as a side dish to my dinner as it’s similar to stuffing during Thanksgiving. It’s a great make-ahead meal. You can make it the night before and warm it the next morning.

You can definitely substitute what you have available in your fridge. I imagine bacon, and any hearty veggies would be good in this also. It can also be made vegetarian if you leave out the sausage or bacon. I then covered the dish in gouda cheese and baked it until melted.

savory bread pudding recipe

First, I cooked all the veggies and meats and toasted the bread. I then combined everything in a large mixing bowl with the cheese and custard.

sesame seed loaf for savory bread pudding recipe

I used a 12″ sesame loaf from a local baker. Any crusty bread like french bread or country bread will also work fine.

gouda cheese in savory bread puddingsavory bread pudding with butternut squash, kale and chicken sausage Continue reading “Savory Bread Pudding”

Garlic Thyme Potato Gratin

potato-gratin-cover

I like to switch it up a little for Friendsgiving. Since I know most people will be having the usual dishes on Thanksgiving day. I don’t want people to get tired of turkey and mashed potatoes when Thanksgiving finally comes.

I made this dish for our recent Friendsgiving, which you may have seen on my Instastory last night. The casserole dish was completely empty by the end of the night! Question is, should I recreate it for Thanksgiving day this week?

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Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

simple cranberry sauceYes, it’s that time again. Planning for the holidays. This year, I’m planning 3 Thanksgiving feasts: Friendsgiving, Workgiving, and Thanksgiving. Phew! I’m already tired thinking about it. Really though, I love cooking for others so it’s something that I look forward to every year.

Breaking up Thanksgiving into three smaller meals is really not too bad when you think about it (or maybe I’m trying to make myself feel better). Instead of making 1 giant feast, I will have enough space in my oven and cooktop for each mini meal, and I can also turn leftovers into a new dish for the next event. Last year, I reworked leftover turkey, gravy and stuffing into individual turkey pot pies for Friendsgiving.

Here’s a recipe for cranberry sauce. I grew up eating the sauce that came out of the can (still in a can-shaped mold). When I found out how easy it was to make cranberry sauce I never looked back.

simple cranberry saucecranberry-cinnamon-sauce-14cranberry-cinnamon-sauce-17

All it is is simmered down fresh or frozen cranberries with sugar! I like adding extras like orange juice/rind, ginger, herbs or spices. This recipe can be made a week in advance and stored in the fridge. Enjoy!

simple cranberry sauce

Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

12oz of fresh cranberries
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water or orange juice
1 stick of cinnamon
1 Tbs cinnamon powder

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 5-7 minutes until most of the cranberries have popped.  Stir occasionally.

You may want to add more sugar if the sauce is still too tart for your taste.