Category Archives: Sides

Pesto Pasta Salad

Hey all! How was your weekend? We had a great one here….laughing, and then laughing some more. My bff/sista-from-another-motha has been here with her family. They left out yesterday to go west….all the way to the Grand Canyon. It was such a fun visit…and it always goes too fast.

Today my bubs had some gum surgery. He has 2 baby teeth that have never fallen out…(and he’s 15 1/2) So his orthodontist had us look into getting them pulled so that the permanent canine teeth can fall into place. He was really nervous…but did so well. We are happy it is over…now onto ice cream!

Wanted to pop in and share this yummy cold pasta salad…make it this week:)

There’s some recipes but I have been making forever and I go to look it up on the blog and realize I have never shared it with you all! This is one of those recipes. I tore out this recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine probably back in 1997ish and have been making it forever! It is a one dish meal…can’t go wrong there right:)  Adding in cooked chicken to it makes it a perfect meal for a hot summer night. I suggest putting it together the night before you’re going to eat it. The flavors come together really nicely overnight. Kids and adults love it! pesto pasta salad @cleverlyinspired (5)

This recipe is great for back to school time too….it keeps great for a few days….

Pesto Pasta Salad
 
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Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 8 oz ziti
  • 1 C spinach leaves
  • ¼ C basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic quartered
  • 2 T parmesan
  • ⅛ salt and pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T water
  • ⅓ C mayo
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta and cool. Set aside.
  2. In food processor combine spinach, basil, cheese, salt and pepper.
  3. Add in oil and water and pulse.
  4. Place pesto mixture in large bowl and mix in mayo.
  5. Add in drained noodles.
  6. Add in chicken (optional)
  7. Place in fridge.

 

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Do yall start school soon? We are on the official count down. One week from tomorrow….kind of makes me sad. Not really ready for summer to end yet.

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Back tomorrow with a yummy homemade back to school snack:) Oh and I got our new chairs for the new table…will show you that this week too!

xo

Easy Homemade Potato Salad

Hi yall! Hope you had a great weekend. We went up to Dayton…apparently it’s been 20 years since we graduated. It is so hard to get my head around that….seriously seems like we were there yesterday. It was so much fun to catch up in person. We called it “facebook live”…it was funny because with the invention of Facebook….you kind of take all that “small talk” stuff out of the way already. It was really kind of nice:) I do love my Flyer family and Bill and I both look forward to going back for our next reunion. It always feels like going home….good times;)

Today I wanted to pop in and share a fabulously easy potato salad recipe. My Nana made an amazing potato salad…this one is not quite as labor intensive as hers. It is great to whip up for a summer picnic and will please your whole crowd. Have a great Monday!!

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You want to be sure to use red potatoes for this recipe. They hold up nicely when cold…mealy potatoes are a yucko!! Also helps to cut them in uniform shape so that they cook fairly even.

 

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I placed the quartered potatoes into boiling water and let them simmer for about 9 minutes. When you can poke the potato with a fork and the potato slides off….that is when they are done. Not too tender…not too hard….the goldilocks of potato doneness if you will…..;)

 

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Best served up when the salad has had proper chill time:)

Easy Homemade Potato Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 10 med red potatoes cubed
  • 1 bunch green onion chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 c mayo
  • 1 T sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp vinegar
Instructions
  1. Boil large pot of water and add in potatoes
  2. Meanwhile combine in a bowl mayo, sour-cream, salt, pepper, vinegar
  3. Chop celery and set aside.
  4. When potatoes are done (about 8 minutes), drain and rinse with cold water.
  5. Toss potatoes and celery
  6. Toss with dressing.
  7. Chill at least a couple hours. Keeps nicely for about 3 days.

xo

Tracie

Simple Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Hey there…happy rainy Monday! Hope your weekend was a great one. We laid low…went to some bball games…walked a ton because we are completely addicted to our fit bits…hung out with friends for a bit…overall a great weekend. Do you fit bit? It truly is ingenious…and very motivating. It counts your steps…basically a very techy pedometer. It comes with a free app for your phone…and you can gather friends to a challenge. Somehow seeing that number increase all day keeps me going. So silly really….but I love it!

 

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I know I know it doesn’t seem very fair to start off Monday talking about brussel sprouts. The funny thing is I literally used to gag at the table when my mom would even put them on my plate and now they are one of my favorite vegetables. When my Grammie used to visit us she would sit with me until I cleaned my plate. I was the picky eater in our family so it took me awhile to finish my dinner. But I grew up knowing that each food group should be represented on the plate….. a protein, a green vegetable, and a starch. My mom did a good job of reintroducing foods that eventually I grew to really like.

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Brussel sprouts was not one of my favorites to say the least. My Grammie would sit at the table with me and tell me stories about people by the last name of Brussels that ate brussel sprouts and had beautiful hair and perfect skin and they knew how to dance and  all sorts of imaginative stories. I think about these things every time I eat something that I might not have liked as a child but I have grown to like as an adult. It is funny how your tastes change.

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Simple Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 20 brussel sprouts cut in half
  • ½ lemon ..juiced
  • ⅓ C fresh grated parmesan
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ t kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oven 425
  2. Toss brussel sprouts, olive oil and lemon juice until coated.
  3. Mix in garlic, salt, pepper.
  4. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve in casserole dish, sprinkle with parmesan prior to serving.

 

The encouraging thing about brussel sprouts is they are literally packed with so much goodness in a little bite that you know you’re doing your body good when you can eat a portion of these a few times a month. These roasted brussel sprouts take minutes to prepare and are packed with flavor. When you roast them they become kind of crispy on the outside and tender but not mealy on the inside. Just because you didn’t grow up some liking something doesn’t mean you will never like it.

Make Ahead Twice Baked Potato

Happy Friday!! We are less than one week from Thanksgiving…and then it seems time moves at warp-like speed. I hope you have a little down time this weekend to regroup and relax before the hustle starts. I find when I take even just 10 minutes to gather my thoughts and to-do list…I feel so much more at ease about what is ahead. Start by making these simple twice baked potatoes this weekend…and you can cross it off your list!

The twice baked potato has always seemed a bit redundant to me. Kind of like….. make up your mind do you want a baked potato or do you want mashed potatoes? I really never saw the light until recently my mom was showing me how easy they could be. It takes just a little bit of forethought… but other than that it’s a no brainer!

 

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Bake them up while you’re doing some other work… get them out of the oven with a pot holder…scoop out the potato goodness…. mash them up put them back in the shell and put them in the fridge until you want to bake them. It really is pretty easy and people think that you worked on them a lot longer than you actually did:) These potatoes have now become a staple rotation for our family meals. What I love about them is I can make them any time put them in the fridge and bake them when we need them. I would say they would keep in the fridge for at least 3 days and even longer in the freezer. They’re great side dish you can add in anything you really love to make it suit your family’s taste.

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Make Ahead Twice Baked Potato
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 C milk
  • ¼ C grated parmesan
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 C shredded mozzerella
  • 2 T chives
  • salt pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425.
  2. Pierce potatoes once on each side and bake for 45 minutes (I test with a fork for doneness)
  3. When done remove and slice in half length wise.
  4. Scoop out potato (I use a cookie scoop...easy) Set aside skins on cookie sheet
  5. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with hand mixer until creamy.
  6. Scoop ingredients into shell.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Heat oven to 350, top potatoes will a sprinkle of Parmesan and bake 20 minutes until browned.

 

 

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Hey…make some up for Thanksgiving! Done and done! Also, here is a recipe I did last year for make ahead gravy:) Getterdone!!

xo

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball

We woke up to a few inches of snow here…and our first snow day from school. Seems a bit early, no? I don’t remember ever having a snow day this early in the school year. Check out instagram to see Stella’s first walk in the snow….hilarious. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I know that many of you are getting ready for the big turkey day….and I wanted to share one more great appetizer to serve up to your guest….Have a great Monday friends:)

Realizing that this is my 2nd cheese post within the last couple weeks….love me some cheese:) Cheese ball & holiday’s….it’s like peanut butter and jelly….bacon & eggs….mac & cheese…you get the point…. I used to love going to the mall during the holidays and seeing that big Hickory Farms kiosk…..guarantee sausage sample….It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Sausage and cheese….hellllooooo:) So in the spirit of the big day of turkey…I thought I would create a turkey shaped cheese ball. It is so fun to play with food:) You can obviously make this into any shape you desire…..go play….Thanksgiving cheese ball @cleverlyinspired (2)

I bought a box of kitchen gloves…and I use them all the time for recipes like this….getting cheese out of nails=not fun at all…..

 

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Combine everything except the bacon. Make a basic turkey head by shaping the body and then a small ball for the head. Roll the entire thing in bacon….wax paper makes for  quick cleanup:)

 

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I used 3 kinds of crackers to create a “feather” effect.

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Thanksgiving Cheese Ball
 
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Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 C shredded smoked gouda
  • 1 T chives
  • dash of tabasco
  • ⅓ C bacon chopped or bacon bits
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except bacon.
  2. Form into turkey head
  3. Roll in bacon (spread bacon on wax paper for easy clean up)
  4. When ready to serve, place crackers in "feather" shape and cheese in the center.

 

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You can make it ahead and then just place the crackers on before guest arrive:) Try not to say gobble gobble to much:) (recipe adapted from RachelRay)

xo

Scalloped Potatoes

Hey…happy Monday:) Hope you had a great weekend!

Potatoes and cheese…with cream…I mean how can you go wrong? You can’t go wrong. It is comfort food at it’s best. This recipe pairs perfect with anything—chicken, beef, pork…or just hunker down on your couch and eat it alone—I’m not going to judge. In college, on a rainy Sunday…my housemate would make a big batch of her famous mashed potatoes and we would watch Disney movies all day—no joke. Talk about comfort….and the quickest way to cure a hangover too….just sayin. Anywho, these scalloped potatoes come together really quick with minimal effort and it is why I love them so…Make some tonight…your people will love you that much more:)

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If you have a mandolin slicer….use it to get your potatoes super thin…and it will bake that much quicker. You can just slice with a knife…and bake a bit longer too. The timing on the recipe below is assuming you are slicing with a knife:)

Scalloped Potatoes
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1.5 C heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • salt pepper to taste
  • ¼ C parmesan
Instructions
  1. Butter casserole dish.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream, bay, thyme, garlic and nutmeg. Simmer low for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Slice potatoes thin.
  4. Place potatoes in a large bowl. With slotted spoon, remove thyme and bay from cream.
  5. Pour on heavy cream mixture to potatoes and toss.
  6. Sprinkle in half of parmesan and coat potatoes.
  7. Layer potatoes adding in cream and parmesan into the layers in the casserole.
  8. Finish with a dusting of parmesan.
  9. Bake covered for 40 minutes at 400. Continue an additional 10 minutes uncovered.

 

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There is no better treat than a cheesy potato :)

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I am doing a campaign on Instagram with the US potato board (funny how people find people…am I right?)….search up #toptater for a load of potato inspiration:) Also, be sure to sign up for the giveaway on Friday’s post:)

Tomato Cobbler

Did you have a good weekend?Pretty low key here..we made it to the lake to clean up a few things and grab some furniture…Happy end to summer I guess. It seemed that this one kind of passes us by…although I am ready for fall. I kind of like the hibernation that fall brings. I am really an introvert about 8 months of the year….and I love the quiet that fall brings:) But, before we go all pumpkin…let’s use up those tomatoes from the garden ok….

I know….cobbler is usually sweet…but this easy tomato cobbler is the best use of all those tomatoes at the end of summer:) I have used this recipe forever…I think I tore it out of a Martha mag a long time ago. I bet you have everything you need to pull it together tonight….

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Tomato Cobbler
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ⅓ C Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ⅓ C fresh Parmesan
  • ¼ t salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • ¼ C dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Spread some olive oil on bottom of baking dish.
  2. Toss in tomatoes
  3. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients (salt and pepper to taste)
  4. Even spread on top of tomatoes
  5. Bake 400 for 20 minutes

 

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It couldn’t be easier really…..and your payoff is huge:)

 

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Have a wonderful week friends:)

xo

Easy Grilled Potato Casserole

Mornin friends! Hope you had a restful weekend. Several were interested in the Norwex post that I popped in to share on Saturday. The link on the side of the blog will stay up for awhile. You can click there to see all the products that are available. I started with the “starter pack” that has an enviro-cloth and a window cloth. If you want more info…just message me:) I will try to help.

The dog days of summer are still upon us…even though we are in back to school mode here. Using the grill to cook your entire meal outdoors is a great way to keep the heat out of your kitchen…and make less mess to clean up! These potatoes are a “go to” side dish for us. Just drop a steak on the grill and make a salad—dinner is done:)

While vacationing these last few weeks…we made many meals on the grill. All you need is some foil, a few seasonings….and you are set for a quick meal and no clean up! Win win!

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Super simple ingredients….it almost isn’t a recipe:)

Easy Grilled Potato Casserole
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 large potatoes sliced thin
  • ½ onion sliced
  • foil pan (I like the lasagna size pan….makes stirring easy)
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 T butter cubed
  • 1.5 C shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 T olive oil
  • foil
Instructions
  1. Place olive oil in foil pan.
  2. Place onions and potatoes. Toss to combine.
  3. Sprinkle seasonings. Top with butter cubes.
  4. Top with foil and poke holes for steam.
  5. Place on medium heat grill for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir and mix in cheese. Replace foil for 15-20 minutes more until potatoes are tender and fabulous:)

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Wow your friends and impress your family with the easiest cheesiest potatoes ever:)

 

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PS…the mushrooms are just as simple. Place 1 package of cleaned sliced mushrooms in a foil pan. Top with olive oil an sprinkle of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and cook 25 minutes….love them!

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Great….now I’m hungry:)

xo

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xo

Easy Homemade Coleslaw Recipe

I posted my Dad’s coleslaw recipe a long time ago….about 4 years actually. I know my Dad will probably be shaking his head at me when he reads this…because I have tweaked the recipe a bit. I promise Dad…it is JUST as good as the original….but maybe just a little bit better for you:) This slaw is perfect to serve up with some ribs and corn on the cob….what a great summer meal—that is easy!!

 

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It is great if you can make this slaw one day ahead….it is so good on the 2nd day when the flavors are all friends:) If you don’t have one of these juicers….go grab one. I saw a few very similar to mine at Homegoods last week. A little trick to get a ton of juice from the lemon….pop the whole lemon in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then cut in half and juice—one lemon will be plenty for this recipe.

 

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So if you need something to bring to a picnic this summer….remember this recipe!!

Easy Homemade Coleslaw Recipe
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • One bag of slaw
  • 1 lemon (2 T juiced)
  • ½ tsp season all
  • 1 C Hellman's Mayo with olive oil
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine slaw and lemon juice.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, season salt, pepper. Toss on cabbage until well coated.
  3. Stir in mayo.
  4. If you like your slaw a little wetter...add a bit more mayo.
  5. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Hope you are having a great start to summer:)

xo

Stuffed Jalapeño Popper Recipe

It is a love/hate relationship with me….they are so hot….but they are so good….ok, I’ll have one more…yes, my mouth is burning…BUT I DON’T CARE!! These stuffed poppers are a real crowd pleaser….plus, they are good even when they cool off a bit—so you can serve them up and not worry about them! Perfect for a Memorial Day picnic with friends:) I hope you look like as big of an idiot as I do when I eat them;)

 

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Feel free to make them ahead:) Just cover them with a damp paper towel so that the pastry doesn’t dry out too much.

 

What’s more patriotic then a popper? Nothing I tell you….nothing:) #grabmybeer

 

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Stuffed Jalapeño Popper Recipe
 
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Author:
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • 1 clove of garlic roasted
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbed
  • 1 c shredded cheddar
  • 15 jalapenos sliced down the center and seeded
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Roast garlic (cut off top of garlic bulb, place on foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap foil around and bake for 45 min. at 425)
  2. Combine garlic pulp, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon crumbs.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture into pepper.
  4. Cut thawed puff pastry sheets into 12 squares.
  5. Wrap peppers with puff pastry piece. You can brush with egg wash if you want:)
  6. Bake 400 for about 15-20 min. until browned. Using parchment on the baking sheet will help peppers keep from sticking.

 

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