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Family-friendly recipes from a frugal gal that likes to eat

Archive for the category “Side Dish”

Caprese Bread

One of my favorite things about summer in Minnesota is the Farmer’s Market. The smells, the people, the colors, the (cheap) prices – I love it all. Some of the best deals can be found on herbs. I bought a GIANT bundle of basil for $1! The friend who was with me instinctively asked, “Are you going to make pesto?” And sure, pesto is a delicious and obvious choice for a bunch of basil (and let’s be honest, I did also make pesto!), but I had an even grander plan for this bunch. Savory caprese bread! This quick bread is loaded with fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella, and it’s a breeze to make!


Caprese Bread
(Printable Recipe)


(Recipe from Will Cook for Smiles)

    1¼ cup of all purpose flour
    1 cup of bread flour
    2 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon of salt
    3½ to 4 oz of cubed, fresh mozzarella cheese
    2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
    ⅓ cup of chopped sun-dried-tomatoes (not packed)
    2 eggs
    2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1¼ cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×4 inch bread pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the basil, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes to the flour and mix until incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and buttermilk.
  5. Pour the liquids into the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are well combined. (The dough will be sticky.)
  6. Transfer the dough into the bread pan and spread it evenly.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes (until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.)

PicMonkey Collage


Hasselback Potatoes (Fail)

Many of you have this seen picture of hasselback potatoes on Pinterest:

Stunning, no? When I saw this post, I immediately pinned, and several of you followed suit. I think the caption was something like “Better than fries!” Well who doesn’t want something that’s better than FRIES? I didn’t even know that existed! I had some potatoes at home, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Well, this is how mine turned out.

Not quite the same. Or even close at all! This just did not taste good. I basically forced myself to eat it. So why am I sharing this, you ask? Because I really think they can be great. The recipe is simple, and I think my fail here was all user error. I didn’t bake this long enough, and I don’t think I cut the sections thin enough. You can do better than me, I know it!

Start with these ingredients (and potatoes, of course!):

Wash your potato and start slicing it into sections. Do not cut all the way through. Smear some butter and garlic in between every other section. Top with salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Then bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until crispy. I took mine out at about 40 minutes, and I think it could’ve cooked for more than an hour, so you see why the fail is completely my fault. I know you will do better because you’re patient. And better at timing the different components of your meal. 😉

Hasselback Potatoes
From seasaltwithfood


1 potato
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 3 to 4 mm intervals.
  2. Arrange the potatoes on a baking tray and insert the garlic and butter inbetween the slits. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake the potatoes for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

American Macaroni Salad

On the Fourth of July, Scott and I went to a BBQ at his parents’ house, and I wanted to bring something to share. I had my mind stuck on pasta salad for some reason, so I began searching for something yummy and different. Well would you believe that there aren’t that many appetizing looking pasta salads out there? Or maybe I was just striking out or being picky, but nothing jumped out at me (not even on Pinterest – gasp!). I finally found the most simple and boring-sounding recipe of all time – American Macaroni Salad.

Not sure why I even decided to give this recipe a second look, but hey, it had a patriotic title, so I thought, why not? Turns out, this recipe rooooocks! Plus, I added bacon to it, and bacon makes everything better!

American Macaroni Salad
From Food Network


2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
1/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley (I didn’t use this)
1/2 cup diced vine-ripened tomato
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. In a large bowl combine the macaroni, celery, onion, parsley and tomato.
  2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream and salt.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cooked bacon. Serve. Store covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

This was so delicious! The vinegar made it tangy, and the bacon was the perfect salty, chewy addition to this salad. I will definitely make this again!

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