Jim’s Macaroni Salad


Summer is the time for cool salads. For some reason a few weeks ago, my mom and I started talking about this macaroni salad my brother-in-law Jim used to make for family reunions or afternoons at the lake. If you don’t like tuna, you could use pulled rotisserie chicken. But this is the original. 🙂 My brother-in-law was making this before “Pasta Salad” was all the rage! That’s why it’s called Macaroni salad.

4 cups Macaroni
1-1½ cups Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 bag frozen peas slightly steamed
½ tsp onion powder
1 12oz can of tuna

Cook and cool macaroni. Meanwhile, mix everything but the peas together. Stir macaroni into sauce. Once mixed. Gently fold in peas.

Throw-Back No-Bake Cookies



We visited a friend’s boat the other day and they had made a batch of these. I can’t tell you the last time I had them! So I dug up my old recipe and made some the next day! They taste like my teen years. And you don’t have to heat up your oven!


2 cups sugar
½ cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
Large pinch kosher salt


  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.
  2. Bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
  3. Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container.


Sweet & Savory Pasta Salad

S&S PastaSalad

Everyone loves pasta salad, right? But I’m telling you, this one (which apparently came from a mistake) is my absolute favorite. I crave this more than any other pasta salad I’ve ever had. The ingredients are so unique that it gives it a sweet and savory flavor. But my mom swears she never made it the way I make it. She said her original recipe did NOT have green olives in it, but she can’t remember what it had instead. So I just make it like this. And since Memorial Day weekend is coming up, it’s about to be pasta salad season! Enjoy!


2 boxes of tri-colored pasta (cooked and drained)
2-3 cups of red seedless grapes (washed and loose)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (or pulled rotisserie chicken)
6 oz jar sliced salad olives drained (I know it’s weird, but I pitch all the pimentos)

Hellman’s Light Mayo – 4-6 spatula dollops
2 Tbs or more Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder

Put first 4 ingredients in large bowl and chill
Whisk sauce ingredients together until it looks like salad dressing
Fold into pasta salad
Refrigerate 2-4 hours or overnight. The longer the better!

Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonrolls1A couple weeks ago, The Captain and I got some pizza dough balls from Vitale’s to make our own pizzas and cheesy bread. Well, I had one left over, and I thought “I wonder if you can make cinnamon rolls with pizza dough” Well, you can and I did. I think you should, too! I think the hardest part of making cinnamon rolls is the dough, right? So why not skip a step and make these. They were delicious!



  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, at room temp


  • 4 Tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 Tablespoons hot water (until desired consistency)


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease an 8×11-inch baking dish with butter.

In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar.

Lightly flour your work surface then roll out the dough into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Brush the dough all over with the melted butter then sprinkle it with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting at the long end closest to you, tightly roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 rolls, about 1 1/2-inches each. Arrange each roll in the prepared baking dish about 1 inch apart.

Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until the dough is fully cooked. Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool slightly while you make the glaze. Keep an eye on the rolls so they don’t get too done. Pizza dough is more dense than some other doughs, so you don’t want it to get hard!

In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk in hot water a tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over slightly warm rolls and serve.

Crock-Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili…or C5



My sister sent me this recipe from her “Quarantine Recipe Swap” group. She said it was delicious. And since the temp keeps falling back into the 50s, you might want to try it now!


3 medium or 2 large chicken breasts
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 can of corn (not drained)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 packet ranch dressing powder mix
1 can of rotel
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
Shredded cheese for topping each bowl

Combine all ingredients in crock-pot.
Cook on low 6-8 hours.
Shred chicken once cooked.
Top with cheddar and serve.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies w/ Dark Chocolate Chips


Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together!? I was craving some form of this, so I tried to find a chewy, yummy, easy way to make it happen. This did it! Here you go! Enjoy! (oh…and yes, I ate the sad one first!)


½ cup butter, softened
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 TBS light corn syrup
2 TBS water
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups dark chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 375
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden.
Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Crock-Pot Fajitas


This time of year doesn’t often scream “CROCK-POT” meals, but with the cold, snow, and shelter-in-place, this is perfect. We miss going to restaurants and having someone walk past with a sizzling fajita, don’t we? Well it’s not exactly the same, but the flavors are there and it’s delicious!


  • 1 1/2-pound beef flank steak (I used swiss)
  • 1 can rotel, (your desired heat)
  • 1 onion, sliced (I skipped)
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 8 large flour tortillas, or as needed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or a blend
  • Sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, other favorite toppers


Cut steak into strips and place in a slow cooker
Add rotel, seasoning, onion, pepper
Cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours, or on High for 4 to 6 hours, until steak is tender
Serve hot with tortillas, shredded cheese, etc. allowing everyone to make it their own!


My Oatmeal Scotchies


For some unknown reason (maybe call it the  quarantine effect) I’ve been craving butterscotch. So…I did some recipe research and quenched that with these.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ Cup flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Cups quick oats uncooked
  • 1 package butterscotch flavored chips


Heat oven to 375°F
In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.
Add oats and butterscotch morsels; mix well.
Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes for a chewy cookie or 9 to 10 minutes for a crisp cookie.
Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.
Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Hakuna Frittata


Okay…so I didn’t realize when I named this, that there actually IS a recipe with this name! HA! So cute! (it’s below) I know there are many Frittata recipes out there, but this is what I did. I called it Hakuna Frittata because it’s got bacon in it and Pumbaa from The Lion King was from the hog/pig family! Haha. So make this for dinner and put on The Lion King for a fun family night!


  • 1 pkg bacon, cut into little pieces
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash original blend
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 10-12 grape tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar (or your choice of cheese)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Fry chopped bacon in an oven-proof non-stick skillet until almost done
  3. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and spices until well blended
  4. Transfer bacon to plate and discard most bacon fat the put most of the bacon back in the pan
  5. Put tomatoes in  pan (whole) and warm them until they pop
  6. Stir in egg mixture and cheese; sprinkle remaining bacon on top
  7. Let it get to where the edges are set
  8. Run rubber spatula around the edges to loosen a bit
  9. Place skillet in oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until center is set
  10. Remove frittata from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
  11. Run rubber spatula around edge of pan to loosen the rest of the way
  12. Cut into 8 equal wedges to serve.

You can doctor this however you want. Add spinach, add broccoli, peppers, sausage, it can be custom made!


Shepherd’s Pie Ole


I’m Irish. And I’m always joking about “never meeting a potato I didn’t like”. When I went to Ireland, I fell even more in love with Shepherd’s Pie. (My original recipe is one of the most popular that I’ve ever posted…click this for that recipe) Since St. Patrick’s Day is a couple weeks away, it’s something I like to make!

But I saw a friend of mine made a “Mexican” version. He said he was hungry for Shepherd’s Pie and Mexican food one night, so he created this. Since I “never met a potato I didn’t like”, I thought I’d pass it along! I think your kids are going to LOVE it!


1 lb Ground Beef
1 Pkg Taco Seasoning
Small Jar of Salsa
1 Cup of Corn
1 Cup of Black Beans
1 Cup of Queso
4 Cups of Mashed Potatoes
1 cup Sour Cream
8 oz. Shredded Cheese (or more per preference)

Brown ground beef and prepare per taco seasoning packet directions. Spread in casserole dish. Top with salsa, corn, beans, queso. Mix mashed potatoes with sour cream. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.