Archive for side dish

Rica’s Pasta Salad

This pasta salad never lasts long in my house. Everyone goes for a second helping, a third and a fourth. Before I know it, it’s alllll gone! This dish is a hit and a must have for BBQ’S get together parties. It’s really easy and a great dish loved by many. 


For the salad:

  • 1 box (12 oz) tricolor rotini pasta
  • 1 large red bell pepper (or you can use two small ones), diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 lb pepperoni slices diced
  • 1 small or medium red onion, diced
  • Between 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sliced black olives (amount depends on your personal preference)

For the dressing:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil 
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta to instructions on box. Drain. Run under cold water to stop it from cooking and drain again. 
  2. Mix all other ingredients in with the pasta in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour into the salad. 
  4. Mix well. 
  5. Use Saran Wrap to cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours. The more it sits there, the more time it has to “marinate”. It tastes better that way. 

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Loaded Hasselback Potatoes

Cooking potatoes the Hasselback style is definitely one of my favorite ways to enjoy potatoes in general. Hasselback potatoes are easy to make and not complicated at all. There are so many different topping combinations you can add to your Hasselback potato. For this blog post, I’ll be loading it with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives and BACON! Yes! Glorious yummy bacon!

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Broccoli Cheddar Bites

I *LOVE* broccoli! Everyone in my house loves it. So we do often make food with broccoli in them. I also grow broccoli in my garden. I love these broccoli cheddar bites (mini muffins) because they’re so easy to make! They make a great school lunch for your children. They are also great quick snacks and do great as party appetizers. You can freeze the extras and reheat them in the microwave when you’re hungry.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Parmesan and Panko

This is something I can’t get enough of. The parmesan panko mixture forms a crunchy coating that is delicious with the mildly sweet squash. You could also substitute the lemon zest for minced garlic if you prefer it to be garlicky.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Grilled Potatoes w/ Garlic and Rosemary (foil packets)

Summer is here and this means it’s grilling season! I’ve been on this kick lately with all different kinds foil dinner packets for the grill. Here’s a good side dish that goes in a foil packet.

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Barley Risotto with Corn and Basil

25edf25_e_l Risotto is typically made with Arborio rice, but pearl barley is a good substitute; it produces a dish that is similar in texture but with a nuttier taste and more fiber. If you prefer, you can replace the corn with other cooked vegetables, such as peas, green beans, zucchini, or mushrooms. Read the rest of this entry »

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Roasted Cauliflowers


This method of preparing cauliflower is very simple and extremely delicious. Because of the quick cooking in a very hot and dry oven, the cauliflower florets are not at all mushy. They had softened slightly but still retained a very pleasing crunch as roasting the cauliflower intensifies the flavor and gives it a very sweet nutty taste. If you have never roasted cauliflower, try it now!

Roasted cauliflower is so good that you could even serve it as an appetizer or as a snack. Read the rest of this entry »

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