Crispy Fingerling Potatoes

I’m not typically a potatoes person. They always taste good but sometimes they just seem boring. However, have you ever heard of Fingerling Potatoes? They are the cutest little potatoes you ever did see! If a baked potato and a french fry had a baby it would be a fingerling potato. They are my new go-to side dish when hosting dinner. They pair perfectly with a juicy steak. Below is my favorite way of cooking these little guys.

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CRISPY FINGERLING POTATOES RECIPE

SERVINGS: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • flaky sea salt
  • large cast iron skillet

Combine potatoes, lemon juice, kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet. Add cold water just to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are tender, around 20-25 minutes. Increase heat and boil rapidly until most of the water is absorbed and pan is almost dry (there will be a sheen of butterfat).

Transfer about half of the potatoes to a plate and arrange remaining potatoes in skillet cut side down in a single layer (if your skillet is smaller, you may need to work in a few batches). Reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes undisturbed until water is evaporated and cut sides of potatoes are deeply browned, around 5-10 minutes.

Using a spatula, scrape skillet co cleanly release potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Return skillet to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and repeat browning process with reserved potatoes. After scraping skillet to release second batch of potatoes, return first batch, along with parsley and remaining tablespoon of butter to skillet and toss until potatoes are well coated. Sprinkle with sea salt  before serving.

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Grandma’s Italian Meatballs & Sauce

Today I am sharing with you a treasure! My grandmother’s Italian Meatballs and Homemade Sauce recipe. I even had to ask her permission to share this family recipe with y’all. This is the true authentic way to make Italian meatballs. They are so good. So so good. Best comfort meal. Best meatballs hands down. Okay, get the point yet? They are so delicious!!

Recipe is below. We serve on top of spaghetti noodles. Paired with a side salad, fresh Italian bread, and a bottle of red wine.

Side note: I do not put a serving size on sauce and meatballs because everyone eats a different amount. It makes a decent size batch though. I always make the whole batch. If I have leftovers, I freeze the meatballs in the sauce for another meal. They do make a great freezer meal. Just defrost and make some spaghetti noodles for an easy last-minute meal!

 

INTALIAN MEATBALLS & SAUCE RECIPE

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Italian Sausage
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 cup graded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs (Soaked in a little milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large can Tomato Puree
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 pinch of Sugar

OPTIONAL GARNISH: Fresh Parsley or Basil Leaves

Combine sauce ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook sauce on low for 1/2-1 hour. While that is cooking, mix meatball ingredients in one large bowl by hand. Use hands to mix until thoroughly combined. Roll into 1″ balls. After sauce has cooked on low for 1/2-1 hour by itself, add in meatballs. Cook on low for an additional 1 hour, covered. Uncover and cook until sauce is thicker. REMOVE BAY LEAVES BEFORE SERVING. They can cause esophageal discomfort and injury if swallowed. Serve atop spaghetti noodles!

 

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Bacon & Goat Cheese Quesadilla

We eat quesadillas {almost} everyday for lunch around here. I think I am just burnt out on sandwiches from taking them in my school lunch everyday when I was a child. My one year old loves quesadillas too. It’s so easy to sneak in healthy ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, beans, avocado, etc. I’ve been getting creative with my quesadillas lately to mix it up. Here is one of my favorites!

BACON & GOAT CHEESE QUESADILLA

Makes 1 half-size quesadilla

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Burrito Shell (I used wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Havarti Cheese
  • 1 slice of cooked Bacon, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 sliced Avocado
  • 6 slivers of Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup Spinach
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once warmed up, toss in spinach and onions to cook. Remove spinach when slightly wilted and onions when softened, set aside. Spray skilled with olive oil.  Place tortilla on skillet. On half, place goat cheese, havarti, bacon, cooked red onion, and wilted spinach. Cover with other half of tortilla shell. Cook until slighted browned on each side. Remove from heat, open shell and place avocado pieces in. Cut into wedges to serve.

 

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¡Brunch Fiesta!

Who says you can’t fiesta in the morning?! Today I am sharing with you a Brunch Fiesta. Combining two of my favorite things that bring people together: brunch and mexican food! I love thinking outside the box when it comes to hosting. Hosting doesn’t always have to be a dinner or cookout. Sometimes it is fun to mix it up a little!

I created this colorful tablescape using these fun napkins, galvanized metal chargers, plates and a variety of glasses. The great thing about using a variety of colors is you don’t have to worry about things matching perfectly. The green yogurt parfait glass is actually a votive candle holder from Michaels. Love when I purchase multi-use items. (High-five to myself.)

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When you are on a budget, you want your dollar to go as far as possible. While flowers are a beautiful centerpiece, that’s their only purpose. I love using food for my centerpieces. It looks pretty and I can eat it. How’s that for repurposed?! For this specific centerpiece, I used a combination of limes and oranges in a large vase. And sticking with the mexican theme, 2 bunches of cilantro in a vase for some greenery. (P.S. Cilantro is an affordable centerpiece as well, only $0.99 for 2 bunches!)

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For the main course, I served Breakfast Burritos. You can serve these two ways: pre-made or buffet style. For buffet style, I recommend setting up a designated burrito making station where guests fill and make their own burritos. Your ingredient options can be endless! Eggs, bacon, sausage, peppers, onion, salsa, guacamole, avocado, green onion, cilantro, greek yogurt, black olives, etc. Buffet option would definitely be easier if you have several guests. My Spicy Breakfast Burrito recipe can be found here.

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For a side dish I served bacon and for my brunch dessert a Mango Yogurt Parfait. Every brunch needs a sweet treat to finish with!

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And let’s not forget about the most important part of a fiesta, the margaritas! For brunch, I recommend serving this oh so amazing Margarita Mimosa! Seriously, this drink alone is worth hosting a brunch fiesta! Cheers!

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Margarita Mimosa

This might be one of my favorite drinks of all time. How awesome is this concept?! Love to serve these during my brunch fiestas. I use champagne in mine, but if you want to take it up a notch or two, substitute tequila for the champagne. I add the mini champagne bottle for fun, but not a must. And I highly recommend the lime flavored salt. It compliments the orange flavor of the mimosa nicely.

MARGARITA MIMOSA RECIPE

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 4 cups Ice (I used empty can from juice)
  • 2 cups Champagne (OR 1 cup tequila if you are feeling extra spicy!)
  • Lime Salt 
  • Optional: Lime or Orange Slices for garnish

Fill bowl with ice water. Dip edges of margarita glass in ice water then in the salt so it makes a pretty salt rim. In a blender, combine orange juice concentrate, ice, and champagne. Blend until desired consistency. Serve in margarita glass. Optional: add the mini champagne bottle to each margarita glass. Garnish with lime or orange wedge. 

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This is one of my go-to dishes when I need to take a side dish somewhere. It’s so simple to make. Minimal ingredients, easy to transport, and absolutely delicious. You can easily triple, double, quadruple the recipe to make larger quantities. It is also a great side dish to make when you are hosting a dinner. It gives you plenty of time to focus on cooking other dishes.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Servings: 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and scrub potatoes in water. Peel skin with a carrot peeler.  Chop potatoes into chunks. Line baking sheet with foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bake for 35-45 minutes until tender and browned. You may need to flip potatoes once during baking time so potatoes roast evenly.

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