Ham Dandies

If YOU are looking for something QUICK, these little BEAUTIES are the best DINNER you can make! 

Ham Dandies
1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced
Olive oil
10 slices ham lunchmeat, diced (about any kind that's better quality than Budding!)
4 slices bread 

Grated cheddar cheese

Saute the bell pepper and onion in about a teaspoon of olive oil until tender and slightly browned. Toss in the ham pieces and stir until lightly browned. Spread mustard on all 4 pieces of bread. Sprinkle cheese over 2 of the mustard-covered pieces. Top with the ham and veggies and sprinkle more cheese on top. Cover with the remaining bread, mustard side down. Butter the top and bottom of the sandwich and grill in a pan like you would grilled cheese. Makes 2 sandwiches.

TIP: Another great addition to this sandwich would be sliced mushrooms or olives. You can saute them with the other veggies. I prefer it this way though. So easy and soooo good!


Chunky Chicken Pasta

This salad is soooo GOOD and always a crowd PLEASER. Even though it's great for POTLUCKS, it's even better for a weeknight DINNER so you can just have a big bowl all to YOURSELF!

Chunky Chicken Pasta Salad
8–12 ounces large shell pasta, cooked according to package directions
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 large gala apple, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups halved red grapes
1 cup sliced or diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 heaping cup cashew pieces
1/2–1 cup coleslaw dressing (I just use Kraft)
1/4–1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine 1/2 cup dressing with the mayonnaise. Toss with salad ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Stir in more coleslaw dressing until salad is moist according to your desire.

TIP: You can also add pineapple tidbits or mandarin orange slices. It's all good!


Avocado English Muffins

Soooo EASY, but oh so good! I've been telling all my FRIENDS about these yummy English muffins for years I think. It's embarrassing how SIMPLE these are, but they are full of flavor and taste AMAZING!

Avocado English Muffins
1 whole wheat English muffin (or regular if you prefer)
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
Salt and pepper

Split your English muffin and toast to desired "toastiness." Spread with a little butter, and then top with avocado slices. Gently mash with a fork to cover. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top and enjoy!

TIP: To make sure your avocado is ripe, hold it in your hand, wrap your fingers around it, and gently press. It should be slightly soft to the touch. The avocado is also good on whole wheat or multigrain toast!


Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

This recipe is a FAVORITE among the folks in my family (and neighborhood!) because it's just LIKE the dressing they serve at this local super YUMMY restaurant—Cafe Rio. This is by far the BEST copycat recipe I've tasted.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
3 to 4 fresh tomatillos (or 1 can whole tomatillos if you can find them!)
2 to 3 jalapeƱos (seeded or not)
Juice of 1 lime

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Soooooo yummy!!!

TIP: Serve it over shredded pork, chicken, or beef tacos, enchiladas, or any sort of Mexican-type salad. It's also great on the side of some cheesy quesadillas for dipping!


Still Working on Our Giveaway!

Hello all!

I just wanted to give you a QUICK update on the giveaway from A PIECE OF CAKE. We are just over HALFWAY there with followers. The goal was to reach 50 and then the DRAWING would take place. Winner gets one of my 101 things COOKBOOKS for FREE! Do I need to "up" the PRIZE for more motivation?

OK, if all you PRETTIES get your friends to become FOLLOWERS and we reach 50, I will definitely up the prize and give the winner TWO books!

Love ya!


Strawberry Banana Muffins

Another STRAWBERRY recipe, you ask? Why yes! The little beauties are just so DELICIOUS and are on sale almost weekly at this point. These MUFFINS are extra yummy, extra EASY, and even a little healthy. I think you're gonna LOVE 'em!

Strawberry Banana Muffins
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1/8–1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2–3 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2–3/4 cup chopped or diced fresh strawberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together the egg, applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla, and bananas. Add the flours, baking soda, and cinnamon and then stir until moist. Stir in the strawberries.

Divide batter evenly among a 12-cup muffin pan that has been generously sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 15–18 minutes, or until done. Cool in pan for a few minutes, and then pop muffins out to eat warm or let cool completely.

TIP: You can make this recipe all year and just use frozen strawberries instead of the fresh. Genius!


Strawberry Cream Cheese Sheet Cake

Mmmmm! This DESSERT is so refreshing. Not too HEAVY, but perfectly sweet and MOIST. Can you tell I'm lovin' the STRAWBERRIES? Happy Easter!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sheet Cake
1 white cake mix
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 small container Cool Whip
1 container fresh strawberries, sliced

Make cake batter according to package directions. Spray nonstick spray on a sheet pan with sides. Pour batter into pan and bake until done, about 20-25 minutes; let cool.

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in the Cool Whip and then spread mixture over cooled cake. Place strawberry slices on top and serve. Store in the refrigerator.

TIP: Try stirring a package of instant vanilla pudding mix and a scoop of sour cream to the cake batter before baking. It makes the cake even more luscious and moist! 


Bridal Shower Salad

I know! Strange name, but after it was served at three BRIDAL showers in my family, that's what we started calling it. Anyway, STRAWBERRIES are starting to look really pretty and this is the PERFECT salad to showcase them. So easy and super YUMMY. Did I mention it's perfect to serve at a bridal shower? :)

Bridal Shower Salad
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 large head romaine lettuce
1 pound strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 cups red grape halves
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

In a small bowl or jar, combine the mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, and poppy seeds until smooth. Chill until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, strawberries, grapes, and onion. Just before serving, toss with the dressing. Makes 8–10 servings.

TIP: Grilled or cooked and cubed chicken is a great addition if you're looking for something a little more hearty. Also good—craisins and bacon! (I added both in the photo above!)


Turkey Pesto Melts

This recipe is so EASY, it's kind of embarrassing! We LOVE it though, and it's super handy because we USUALLY have all of the ingredients on hand.

Turkey Pesto Melts
Sandwich hoagies
Pesto (I buy the jar of fresh pesto from Costco)
Sliced deli turkey (chicken would work too)
Sliced provolone cheese

Split the hoagies and spread the top and bottom with desired amount of pesto. (We like a GOOD amount!) Layer the turkey over the bottom half of the sandwich and top with cheese. Place open-faced sandwiches in the broiler until cheese in melted and bubbly. BE CAREFUL! Make sure you watch these so your bread doesn't burn!

TIP: If you don't have hoagie buns, put these bad boys together on regular bread and cook like you would a grilled cheese!