Pineapple cotija salad

“pineapple

Surely you’ve heard of watermelon feta salad. Now meet pineapple cotija salad. It’s simple and refreshing, as any summer salad should be.

I was already buying pineapple for the pan grilled pork chops with pineapple salsa I was planning on making and I had been wanting cotija cheese for tacos this week, so I thought why not combine the extra from the two and make a salad? Of course, then the pork chop recipe used an entire pineapple, so I had to wait for the next week to make this salad.

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Brussels sprout potato salad with spicy aioli

I have never been very into potato salad. When I was younger, I was pretty picky about potatoes in general. I remember my mom poking fun of me because I’m of Irish heritage and didn’t like potatoes, except as French Fries. I also hated mayonnaise, but don’t so much any more. I have grown up since then and my tastes have changed, but I still don’t like the sight of traditional potato salad.

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Cucumber apricot salad

This salad is inspired a bit by the salads my in-laws make. The chopped cucumber makes for a refreshing salad and the addition of mint makes it even better. It’s quick and easy to put together.

This cucumber apricot salad is made with a spring salad mix, English cucumber, apricots, mint and a balsamic dressing. It’s a great salad for spring or summer.

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Stovetop macaroni and cheese

stovetop-macaroni-and-cheese

One of my favorite comfort meals is macaroni and cheese, especially when it’s cold. It’s one of my favorite winter meals, right up there with chili and broccoli soup. Although it’s not winter yet, it’s starting to feel like it. Today it rained fairly hard and it was windy too. That doesn’t happen too much around Southern California, so when it does it’s a big deal. We’re wimps, I know.

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Cranberry pecan spinach salad

This salad is made with a baby spinach and greens mix, pecans, cranberries, and a triple berry balsamic dressing. I was inspired to make the dressing when I came across my cousin Laura’s recipe for Triple Berry Spinach Salad in our family cookbook.

I think this salad would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving table. It feels like a fall or winter dish because of the cranberries and pecans. You could also eat this the day after a holiday get together with the addition of leftover turkey or chicken.

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Kale “Funyun” chips

Kale Funyun chips baked

One day earlier this year when I was in the break room at the child care center I was working at, I was snacking on a leftover container of kale chips. Another teacher looked at it and said, “What is that? Weed chips?” She seemed genuinely weirded out. I was a bit put off by her question. It must have been a joke, but we weren’t friends and din’t work in the same room, so I felt embarrassed. I guess baked kale looks like weed. But of course that wasn’t what I was eating while on break at a school where I took care of infants and toddlers.

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Fried rice

Fried rice with pork

As promised, I’m sharing my mom’s fried rice recipe with you. It goes great with the orange chicken I posted on Monday.

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover white rice. This recipe is one that my mom used when I was growing up.

I made this for my husband Paul and me for dinner and he said, “This tastes like takeout. Better than takeout!”

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Baked sweet carrot fries

Sweet carrot fries
Happy November, everyone! October seemed to go by fast, probably because I had so many events on my calendar from family gatherings like my aunt’s wedding to pregnancy related doctors appointments and tests.

The other day, my sister’s 4-year-old son asked “what’s next” after Halloween. He can be shy, but apparently he loves social events. It’s nice that he looks forward to those times and he may be thinking about when he will see his cousins next. Well, the day after Halloween is his uncle Paul’s birthday (my husband), then a baby shower, Thanksgiving, and another baby shower. Before we know it, Christmas Eve will be here. I’m very much excited for Christmas because my sister and brother who live out of the area will be visiting.

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