Winter Cobb Salad with Citrus Dijon Vinaigrette

We had the best Thanksgiving ever this year. My sister and her family who live in Arkansas came to visit us in Utah! We have lived in Utah for almost 10 years and have never spent it with my side of the family. My kids don’t have cousins their age here and it was so special for them to have their younger Arkansas cousins here to hang out with. We got almost 2 feet of snow while they were here so we ended up watching LOTS movies, played in the snow, ate so much good food, laughed a lot, and just enjoyed each other. I miss them already!

Speaking of food, is anyone else craving something healthy after Thanksgiving? I definitely indulged for the holiday and have no regrets but my body has been begging for something light and healthy. I have had this salad on my recipe idea list for a long time and am so glad I finally had the chance to make it. It is loaded with healthy ingredients like pomegranate seeds and oranges. Y’all know I had to add some bacon to it to stay true to myself! Ha! The Citrus Dijon Vinaigrette might be the star of the show though. My son hates fruit on his salad and hates vinaigrettes even more but he tried this and loved it so much. I felt like I scored a touchdown when he approved! We had grilled chicken and roasted veggies on the side and it was so healthy and satisfying. If you’re looking to add some greens to your menu this week, my Winter Cobb Salad is exactly what you need!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of Dec 3-9: Salad greens/lettuce, oranges, bacon, eggs, Dijon, olive oil

Winter Cobb Salad with Citrus Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

5-6 oz salad greens
3-4 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
1 orange, segmented
2-3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup slivered almonds (or chopped pecans)
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons honey
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together until well combined and set aside.
Add greens to large bowl or platter. Add bacon, pomegranate, oranges, eggs, feta, and almonds on top. Drizzle vinaigrette on top then toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Note: Add grilled chicken for a complete meal. Additional ingredient options: avocado, cucumber, pears.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Hash

Here’s another roasted vegetable dish perfect for Thanksgiving! I made my Rosemary Sweet Potato Hash today on ABC4’s Good Things Utah and it was so fun to share. Everyone at the studio loved it! Watch me make it here.

I have been making this for years! Growing up, I absolutely hated sweet potatoes or yams. The only time I ever had them was at Thanksgiving and my mom (who was usually a great cook) used canned yams and covered them in marshmallows. Yuck! About 7 years ago I was really into Crossfit and of course started the paleo diet too (that didn’t last long-ha). I was looking to add variety to my diet and decided to give sweet potatoes another chance. I came up with this hash and fell in love! How can you not love them when they are roasted with bacon, onions, mushrooms, and loads of fresh rosemary???

This hash goes perfectly with grilled chicken, fish, and even with a fried egg. I make it year-round but it is such a great addition to Thanksgiving. I made it last year instead of Sweet Potato Casserole and didn’t miss the super sweet traditional side at all! I’d honestly rather save my calories for dessert or a cheesy appetizer. If you add this to your holiday table, make sure to comment here and let me know what you think or tag me on social media!

Rosemary Sweet Potato Hash

  • Servings: 8+
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
4 oz button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup pre-cooked crumbled bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Toss all ingredients together on a sheet pan and spread to single layer. Bake for 20-25 min or until potatoes are tender (stir halfway through cooking).
I love cooking with host Nicea DeGering!

Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Garlic Aioli

It’s brussel sprout season! Who’s cheering with me?? If you aren’t cheering with me just give me a minute to tell you that these aren’t your mama’s brussel sprouts. These could easily turn a hater into a lover! Crispy parmsan and panko crusted brussel sprouts with an amazing aioli loaded with roasted garlic. Yum!

I’ve loved brussel sprouts since I was a kid believe it or not. My mom prepared them terribly though! She’d boil them to death then drown them in butter and salt. I ate them as a kid but never knew just how incredible brussel sprouts could taste until I roasted them. My favorite pieces are the super dark almost burnt ones!

You could serve these as is roasted with the crispy coating and they are so good but the aioli takes them to the next level. Maybe a few levels! Also, roasting garlic is so simple! You just need a 400 degree oven, whole heads of garlic, a sharp knife, olive oil, and a piece of tin foil. I make it all the time and add it to mashed potatoes!

This is all you need to make roasted garlic!

My Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Garlic Aioli would be the perfect addition to your holiday table! It could be a appetizer or a side dish. I love traditional sides but every year I throw in something new for variety. You’re going to love this one!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of September 12-18: brussel sprouts, olive oil, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, butter

Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Garlic Aioli

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

1 ½ lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup parmesan, grated
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
For the aioli:
2 whole heads garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon
Dash of cayenne pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off ends of garlic heads and place on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up and seal into a packet. Place in oven to roast for 45-60 minutes. It’s done when garlic is brown and soft. Set aside to cool.
Place brussel sprouts in a large bowl then drizzle with olive oil and melted butter. Add salt, pepper, parmesan and panko. Toss to combine.
Pour onto a large baking sheet and spread out to single layer. Place in oven and roast for 15-25 minutes or until browned and tender.
While brussel sprouts are roasting, make the aioli. Remove garlic cloves by either squeezing or using a small knife to pry out. Place on flat surface and mash using the tines of a fork.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Dijon, and cayenne. Add garlic then stir to combine.

When brussel sprouts are done, serve immediately with the roasted garlic aioli as a dipping sauce or drizzle.
Note: Fresh grated good quality parmesan cheese works best.

Butternut Squash & Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese

I was just thinking about this mac ‘n’ cheese that I created last year and realized that it wasn’t on my blog yet. Yikes! I developed the recipe last year for a Good Things Utah segment and it is one of my favorite segments to date. Watch me make it here!

Getting ready on the set of ABC4’s Good Things Utah!

So many of my friends have made this and loved it. You could definitely say its “grown-up” or “fancy” mac ‘n’ cheese. It requires a bit of effort but is sooooo worth it! The combo of roasted butternut squash, crispy bacon, creamy gruyere, and fresh rosemary is perfection! This is amazing alongside roasted chicken or pork and is the perfect side dish to take to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. You will definitely impress your family and guests with this elevated take on classic mac ‘n’ cheese! If you make it (or any of my recipes) please comment on my blog and share my recipes on social media. It will help me grow!

Butternut Squash & Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

1 butternut squash – peeled, de-seeded, and cubed (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup shallots, finely diced
1 stick (8 TB) butter, divided
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (1%, 2%, or whole)
2 cups grated gruyere cheese, divided
2 cups grated sharp cheddar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
16 oz cavatappi pasta
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Heat a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta.
2. Place cubed squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven to roast for 20 minutes or until pieces are fork tender. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash half of the pieces (doesn’t have to be completely smooth). Leave on tray and set aside.
3. When water boils for pasta, add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water then cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
4. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and place on a towel-lined plate to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet.
5. Turn the heat for the skillet to medium then add diced shallots. Cook until translucent.
6. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the shallots. Once melted, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour. Cook for about 1 minute or until the flour starts to brown. Whisk in milk with a slow, steady stream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
7. Once the sauce thickens (coats the back of a spoon), add 1 ½ cups of gruyere and 1 ½ cups of cheddar. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and about ½ teaspoon of pepper. Stir until cheese is melted then turn off the heat.
8. Add rosemary, bacon, butternut squash and drained pasta to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
9. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. Add panko and parmesan and stir to combine.
10. Add remaining gruyere and cheddar to the pasta then sprinkle the panko mixture on top.
11. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until topping starts to brown.
The GTU crew devoured my mac ‘n’ cheese after the show wrapped! Love these people!

Cheesy Poblano Drop Biscuits

I know, I know it’s about time these cheesy pillows of perfection made it onto the blog! If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while, you’ve seen these already. I created them last summer on Good Things Utah and I am so proud of them! GTU asked me to make something “southern” and my mind immediately went to biscuits. I had to add a little Texas twist and my Cheesy Poblano Drop Biscuits were formed. Watch me make them here!

The “hardest” part of making these is roasting the pepper but I promise it’s so easy. Don’t let it intimidate you. Do it once and you’ll be a pro! Make sure to really char them because it will make it easier to get the skin off. Also, they are not spicy! That’s one of the reasons you see poblano peppers in many of my dishes. They are only slightly spicy with a natural smokiness. They add SO much flavor without the overwhelming spice that a jalapeno or serrano can add.

These biscuits go with just about anything! Serve them with chili, with breakfast, or a side dish at a BBQ. I made them recently and served cream sausage gravy over the top. It was next level! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make plain biscuits and gravy after having that.

Cheesy Poblano Drop Biscuits

  • Servings: Makes 15 biscuits
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

2 C all-purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
2 TB sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ C melted butter plus 2 TB melted butter, divided
1 C milk (whole milk preferred)
1 poblano pepper, roasted and finely diced
1 TB olive oil
1 small yellow or sweet onion, finely diced
1 C shredded Colby jack cheese

Directions

Roast poblano pepper by placing on a baking sheet under the broiler. Rotate the pepper every few minutes until all sides are blistered and blackened. Immediately place the pepper in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave for 15-20 minutes to steam. Turn off broiler and preheat oven to 450. (Can also be roasted on a hot grill or open flame)

While the pepper is steaming, add oil to a small skillet and heat to medium high. Place diced onion in skillet and cook until onions are browned then set aside.

Peel skin off of pepper by scraping with the sharp edge of a knife then remove stem and seeds. Finely dice the pepper and set aside.

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add ½ C melted butter and milk. Stir until just moistened.

Fold in peppers, onions, and shredded cheese, being careful not to over mix.

Immediately drop by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet (silicone baking mat preferred). Brush tops with remaining melted butter.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges turn to golden brown. Makes 15 biscuits.

*Note: These do not spread much so you should be able to fit all 15 on one large baking sheet.

With creamy sausage gravy. Game changer!

The BEST Baked Beans

Me to my husband, “What title should I give my baked beans? I can’t just call them Baked Beans.” He replied with, “You just need to call them The BEST Baked Beans because that’s what everyone says after they take a bite of them.” So there you have it, these really are the BEST Baked Beans ever!

Before I started making these, I really wasn’t a fan of baked beans. When I saw them at a BBQ or potluck, I’d pass them by. Why? Because they were always full of floppy bacon and long stringy onions. Yuck. About 10 years ago, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I based my recipe off of my mother-in-law’s because the sauce in hers had good flavor. I decided to cook the bacon FIRST until it was nice and crispy. Then I cooked the diced onions in some of the bacon grease until they were brown and flavorful. GAME CHANGER. The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic as far as baked beans go. The sauce is the perfect amount of sweet from the brown sugar but still tangy and savory with ingredients like Worcestershire and dry mustard.

Do not pass this recipe by because the ingredient list looks like “basic baked beans.” I’m telling you, the technique is what takes these beans to the next level. If you’re taking these to a potluck, you’re going to need to quadruple this recipe. I always do and come home with an empty pot. Every time I’ve taken them to a potluck I hear someone yelling, “Who made the beans?” Haha! You’ll be the star of all the BBQs this summer if you make them!

The BEST Baked Beans

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 one lb cans Pork and Beans, undrained
2/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cup yellow onions, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
8 slices bacon, chopped in bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 325. Heat a large oven-safe pan (or pot) to medium-high and cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan to drain on a paper towel-lined plated. Remove all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from pan. Add the onions and cook until onions are tender and browned. Add beans, ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, Worcestershire, bacon, and S&P to the pan. Stir to combine. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

*Note: The beans will not thicken properly if made in a slow cooker. If you need to keep them warm, bake in oven as directed then transfer to a slow cooker.