Mexican Street Corn Salad

This Mexican Street Corn Salad is a hit at potlucks and BBQs, and always disappears quickly. It is all the best parts of Mexican Street Corn, Elote, but with less mess – grilled corn, a creamy sauce bursting with flavor from spices and fresh herbs, and salty cheese. You and your guests will want seconds!

This Mexican Street Corn Salad is a hit at potlucks and BBQs, and always disappears quickly. It is all the best parts of Mexican Street Corn, Elote, but with less mess - grilled corn, a creamy sauce bursting with flavor from spices and fresh herbs, and salty cheese. You and your guests will want seconds!

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Mom’s Roasted Brown Sugar Butternut Squash #FallFlavors

Sweet butternut squash gets a little sweeter as it’s roasted and then served with butter and brown sugar, making for an easy, irresistible fall side dish.

This post is sponsored on behalf of #FallFlavors. Our generous sponsors Millican Pecan and Door County Coffee and Tea  have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Mom's Roasted Brown Sugar Butternut Squash: Sweet butternut squash gets a little sweeter as it’s roasted and then served with butter and brown sugar, making for an easy, irresistible fall side dish.

Continue reading “Mom’s Roasted Brown Sugar Butternut Squash #FallFlavors”

Macaroni Salad

This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad, a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad, a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

Sometimes one of the biggest challenges of summer is entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super easy to throw a bunch of meat and veggies on the grill – maybe with a side of fresh watermelon – and to call it a day, but when it’s a big crowd? Not so easy. My husband would be grilling for hours if that’s all we served when entertaining. But not going to lie, I don’t want to be standing in the hot kitchen either.

Over the years, I’ve build ups  little portfolio of easy sides to make indoors to be served alongside our summer grilling (or to take to BBQs and potlucks). Like Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad or a simple Homemade Pesto tossed with tortellini. But this Macaroni Salad – what I think of as a Classic Macaroni Salad, if there is such a thing – is one of my go-to recipes. It’s a “recipe” that I learned from my mom, and after making it dozens of times, I go by instinct and taste when I make it.

This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad, a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

But instinct doesn’t help you, my readers, when you’re trying to recreate my dishes. So this last time I made this Macaroni Salad, I measured everything – just for you all.

That being said, please do taste as you go. Everyone’s tastes vary, and the ingredients themselves vary. So mix and taste. Mix and taste.

A couple of Recipe Notes:

  • As the warm macaroni salad sits, the mayo will be absorbed. Feel free to add extra mayo if you prefer a creamier consistency.
  • Red onion is our favorite veggie to mix in, just for a little flavor. Feel free to adjust the quantity listed below – I tend to use whatever I have in the house.
  • Taste as you go – don’t add too much salt!

This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad, a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

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This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad is a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

Classic Macaroni Salad

This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad, a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 1/2 cup servings
Calories 290 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow pasta
  • 1/2-3/4 red onion small dice
  • 1 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, cook the elbow pasta according to package.

  2. While pasta is cooking, dice onions.

  3. When pasta is cooked to desired consistency - should be cooked throughout - drain and return pasta to hot pot. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to coat completely. Taste and adjust salt and pepper or add more mayo as needed.

  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and allow to cool until warm or room temperature before serving. (As pasta salad cools, you may want to add a little extra mayo to your preferred consistency. I rarely do, but feel free. Just add a little bit at a time, tasting as you go). Or, refrigerate until ready to serve.

  5. Serve cold or at room temperature.

A Books n’ Cooks original recipe.

This easy, 4-ingredient Macaroni Salad is that classic mayo-based salad, a snap to put together and feeds a crowd. It’s our family’s favorite accompaniment to quick weeknight dinners on the grill, summer BBQs and potlucks, and big summer entertaining.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries #CranberryWeek

Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Today kicks off one of my favorite foodie weeks of fall – Cranberry Week! Hosted by Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking, it’s a week of recipes featuring fresh and dried cranberries, cranberry juice, and any other cranberry product you can think of. This week, I have two new recipes for you – a savory dish that you could enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or bright side dish and a fall twist on a classic dessert.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

What are you plans for Thanksgiving? Can you believe it’s less than a month away?

My husband and I usually crash a friend’s house for the holiday, but this year, we’re hosting. My parents will be in town helping with childcare that week (lots of days off and early dismissals!) so I expect my mom to be doing a lot of prep. Our current count is 16 for Thanksgiving dinner (with at least 8 house guests spending the night for a night or two), but I anticipate adding at least 4 more before the big day. Not going to lie, I’m a little tired just thinking about it!

But seriously, while it’s a bit overwhelming to think about with a bit of travel and a bit of single-momming it before then, I’m looking forward to it. No clue what I’m going to make yet, but that’s ok. It’ll work out.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Funny enough, even though I haven’t really done much planning for the big meal, I already know what I’m going to do with the leftover turkey. I’m going to have my mom make me Turkey Noodle Soup (it always tastes better when she makes it!) and then I’m going to steal a bit to make this Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries. It just screams fall, or more specifically, Thanksgiving leftovers. Toss leftover turkey (or chicken) with fall Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, and quinoa and then dress it with a light, citrus vinaigrette. Yum!

Recipe Notes:

  • While this recipe calls for turkey, you can totally use leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken. Or even buy turkey or chicken breast from from the deli counter at your local grocery store.
  • Feel free to up the protein in this recipe with up to 1 lb. of chicken or turkey or omit all together for a bright and flavorful side dish.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

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Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries

Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Liz

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 c. fresh orange juice from about 1/2 a orange
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar white balsamic vinegar, if you have it
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Quinoa:

  • 3 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 lb. turkey breast diced
  • 1/2 lb. uncooked shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together all ingredients for the quinoa.
  3. Top with vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Recipe Notes

May be served hot, warm/room temperature or cold.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Today’s #CranberryWeek Recipes

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Asian Grilled Asparagus

 Asparagus brushed with sesame oil is grilled and then tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds for a delicious summer side dish.

Asparagus brushed with sesame oil is grilled and then tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds for a delicious summer side dish.

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from sponsors to use in creating #BBQWeek recipes. However, all opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to #BBQWeek! This was one fun event – hosted by Ellen at Family Around the Table and Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures – that I missed out on last year but am so excited to participate in this time around. I didn’t get a chance to make as many recipes as I wanted to, but for the recipes I did make – YUM! This week you’ll enjoy more than 70 recipes from more than 20 bloggers. There is also the opportunity to win one of three great prizes from our sponsors (details below). Thank you to Michigan Asparagus for providing bloggers with freshly harvested asparagus, to Adams Extract & Spice for wonderful rubs and spices for grilling and Not Ketchup for bloggers choice of sauce.

So from me, you have two recipes from me to look forward to this week. First, today’s recipe. A side dish that is really quite simple. Asparagus is brushed with oil (sesame oil), grilled, and then tossed with a quick Asian-inspired sauce. The simpleness of the dish makes it great for weeknight dinners when you need an easy side but also for entertaining – no need to be suck in the kitchen while you have guests.

Asparagus brushed with sesame oil is grilled and then tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds for a delicious summer side dish.

I’ll be sharing my next post on Wednesday – a sweet and spicy main dish that pairs well with this grilled side, but be sure to search #BBQWeek on social media to see food porn from all of the BBQ Week bloggers.

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Asparagus brushed with sesame oil is grilled and then tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds for a delicious summer side dish.

Asian Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus brushed with sesame oil is grilled and then tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds for a delicious summer side dish.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian-Inspired
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. asparagus spears
  • 2 1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil divided
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds.

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Rinse asparagus and pat dry. Snap off stems. The bottom should snap off naturally.
  3. Brush asparagus with 2 Tbs. sesame oil. Grill - either directly on the grill or in a grill basket - until tender, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. While asparagus is grilling, whisk together remaining sesame oil, brown sugar, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and ginger.
  5. When asparagus is done, toss with above sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  6. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes: 

  • This recipe was rewritten but barely adapted from Weight Watchers magazine, Best Ever Recipes (p. 73, 2018).
  • Asparagus could be made just as easily indoors – sauteed in a skillet or roasted in an oven.
  • If you can find Michigan Asparagus, use it, especially this time of year when it’s in season (early to mid May through June). Michigan Asparagus is one of the only domestic productions regions for asparagus. Plus, the spears are hand harvested – aka “snapped – instead of cut. Between the U.S.-based crop and the harvesting, you’re getting fresher asparagus with less woody ends.
  • I used apple cider vinegar in this dish, but the original recipe calls for rice wine vinegar. Feel free to use whichever you have on hand.
  • Finally, bump up the heat a bit with more chili garlic sauce (or even red pepper flakes). I would have love to do this, but since I was hoping that my little ones would have some, I decided against it. (And, in case you’re wondering, they did – Miss. Hazelnut actually enjoyed it!)

#BBQWeek Recipes

See what the bloggers served up Monday for #BBQWeek, and then scroll down to enter the #BBQWeek giveaway!

Asiago Garlic and Bacon Grilled Asparagus by Daily Dish Recipes
Asian Grilled Asparagus by Books n’ Cooks (above!)
Blackened Chicken, Asparagus & Avocado Salad by Tip Garden
Chicken and Asparagus Grilled Pizza by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Chicken Souvlaki Kabobs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Double Blueberry Bison Burgers by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Grilled Asparagus Summer Caprese Salad by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Grilled Blueberry and White Pepper Pork Chops by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
Easy Lighter Grilled Buffalo Chicken by Jonesin’ For Taste
Grilled Asparagus with Mustard Dill Sauce by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Grilled Caesar Asparagus by 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Salsa and Asparagus by Simple and Savory
Grilled Eggplant Caprese Salad by Everyday Eileen
Grilled Fruit & Cake Kabobs by Red Cottage Chronicles
Grilled London Broil by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Grilled London Broil with Chimichurri Sauce by Cookaholic Wife
Grilled Pork Burgers with Hawaiian-Style Buns by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Grilled Sweet and Spicy Mustard Pork Chops by Soulfully Made
Meat Lover’s Kebabs by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Southwestern 7 Layered Dips by The Freshman Cook
Tangerine Hatch Chile Grilled Chicken Fajitas by Family Around the Table
Tangerine Hatch Chile Honey Chicken Kebabs by Palatable Pastime

 

#BBQWeek Prizes & Giveaway!

Michigan Asparagus

Prize Number 1: $100 Gift Card Courtesy of Michigan Asparagus (Value $100)

Michigan Asparagus is known for its hand snapped fresh asparagus. It is available May – June and grown mostly in Oceana County along the shores of Lake Michigan. Michigan Asparagus has excellent flavor and a long shelf life. It is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie vegetable with no fat, no cholesterol, and very little sodium. Approximately 120 local Michigan farmers produce approximately 20 million pounds of Michigan Asparagus during the state’s 6-7 week harvest. Remember to buy U.S. for the freshest of the fresh.

Not Ketchup

Prize Number 2: Not Ketchup Sampler 5-Pack (Value $40)

Not Ketchup is a line of fruit gourmet grilling and dipping sauces with no added sugar, no corn syrup and no artificial sweeteners. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, vegan, low-carb and Whole30 friendly.

Flavors in the sampler pack:

Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup blends sweet-tart California tangerines with a touch of heat from authentic Hatch chiles from New Mexico. Favorite pairings: fish, chicken, turkey

Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup combines ripe cherries with the subtle, smoky heat of chipotle pepper. Favorite pairings: burgers, steak, salmon, ribs, meatballs

Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup takes blueberries to the savory side with a touch of mustard and a little kick of white pepper. Favorite pairings: lamb chops, shrimp, scallops, pork tenderloin, goat cheese

Smoky Date Not Ketchup mixes the natural sweetness of sun-ripened California dates with aromatic smoked paprika. Favorite pairings: pork chops, roast turkey, rotisserie chicken, ham, sausages

Spiced Fig Not Ketchup blends rich California Mission figs with warm spices like cinnamon, anise and black pepper. Favorite pairings: Leg of lamb, steak, roast chicken, cheddar cheese
Adams Extracts and Flavors

 

Prize Number 3: A bottle of vanilla and a selection of rubs from Adams Extract & Flavors (Value $30)

Adams Extract

From humble beginnings in Battle Creek, Michigan, to a rooted history in Texas, one thing has stayed the same: a commitment and passion to provide only the highest quality and innovative products and services. For over 125 years it’s really been that simple…make great food taste even better! Today, Adams proudly manufactures and markets under several Adams Brand banners, including Adams Best®, Adams Extract®, Adams® Seasoning & Spice, Adams Reserve®, Flavor King™, Pantry Basics™, Sear-n-Crust®, ClearVan™, Carniceria®, Cocina del Rey®, Naturals™, and Urban Canner™ along with the Adams Frozen Skillet Desserts and Adams Premium Ice Cream lines.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BBQWeek Sponsors Adam’s Extracts, Michigan Asparagus, and Not Ketchup for providing the prizes free of charge. These sponsors also provided bloggers with samples and product to use for creating #BBQWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.

The #BBQWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. There will be three winning entries that will be verified. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BBQWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize package. Participating bloggers and their immediate family members cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with social channels mentioned in the #BBQWeek posts or entry.

Asian Grilled Asparagus - Asparagus brushed with sesame oil is grilled and then tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds for a delicious summer side dish.