Israeli Couscous Edamame Salad.


I purchased some Israeli couscous about a month ago and today, finally, decided to finally do something with it.  Do you ever do that?  I was bound and determined to make something fun with it.  After all, it is pasta and how bad could it be?


1 cup of Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of water
1 handful of fresh parsley
1 cup of cooked edamame (shelled)
1 teaspoon or more if you like of ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Drizzled good quality balsamic vinegar (about 1/4 tsp or a little less)
Olive oil (about 1/4 tsp or less)


In a skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 cup of the couscous.  Stir to coat and let it toast.  Keeping a watchful eye over it and stirring frequently.  Once it has a nice toasted brown color, add one cup of water, bring to a boil.  Then turn to low and cover.  Cook this for about 8 minutes or so, the liquid will be absorbed (similar to rice).  Add more time if you need it.  Then remove and add to a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.  Adjust the seasonings as you wish.  Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.



Cranberry Orange Relish.


This is one of my favorites.  I love cranberries and oranges together.  Perfect as a side or on your leftover turkey sandwiches.  My youngest daughter loves to make this dish – so it’s totally kid friendly.  Great way to get everyone to pitch in and help with dinner prep.  Also, this can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge.


2 bags of fresh cranberries, washed
2 large orange or 6 smaller oranges
3/4 cup of sugar


Over a medium flame, place one bag of your cranberries in a medium sized saucepan.  Zest one orange or 3 smaller and add that to the pan as well, along with the sugar and the juice from the entire orange.  Cover and let cook for 4-5 minutes.  Then remove from the heat.

In a food processor, add the second bag of cranberries and the remaining orange segments (either from one large orange or from 3 smaller).  Pulse until finely chopped.

Once the hot mixture cools, blend with the food processor mixture and give a good stir.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


Garlic Chobani Mashed Potatoes.

My family clammers for my mashed potatoes.  They are super creamy thanks to my secret that I will reveal in the recipe and with a garlic punch the flavor is totally kicked up.  Chobani adds protein to the dish which we all need.  With Thanksgiving around the corner… you gotta put this on your menu!


2 lbs of red potatoes, washed and quartered (I keep the skins on the potatoes but you can peel.)
Large pot of salted, boiling water
6 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
3 slices of cheddar cheese (aged is better) I used Boar’s Head Red Wax Cheddar thinly sliced
1/4 cup of plain Chobani yogurt
Reserve a cup of the cooking liquid from the potatoes prior to draining


I bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add a few pinches of salt.  Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender.  BEFORE you drain, remove a cup or so of the liquid and reserve.  Drain the potatoes and place them in your stand mixer or bowl.  With the paddle attachment ready to use.  Add the garlic,  butter, Chobani and cheddar.  Start on low and mix.  Add some of the reserved water, about 1/4 cup at time, until you achieve your desired creaminess.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust your seasonings.  Serve nice and hot.


Unsweetened Homemade Applesauce.

Today is Tuesday and that means two things… a very early a.m. run with B and a trip to the farmer’s market to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.  Today is a crisp, gorgeous fall day and I couldn’t resist making some homemade applesauce.  My youngest daughter LOVES applesauce and can’t get enough of homemade version.

If you’ve never made homemade applesauce, it is so easy. You don’t need to add any sugar to it as apples are already sweet enough.  Give this recipe a try – I know you’ll love it as much as we do.


8 large apples (softer apples are better for applesauce) I  used Winesap today or 12 smaller sized apples – cored, peeled and chopped into medium sized pieces
1.5 cups of water


In a medium sauce pan add the apples and the water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  After about 5 minutes of cooking, remove the lid and check if the apples are soft enough to mash.  If not, cover and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until you reach the desired “softness”.  You can either you a hand masher or a immersion blender and blend the apples into your sauce.  Add the cinnamon (your preference to how much you like).  I added 1 tablespoon.

Let cool and store in a tupperware container for about 2 weeks.


Easy & healthy mashed yams.

Two ingredients.  Super easy.


2 lbs of yams, washed, peeled and sliced into large pieces
6 cups of water


Bring a pot of water, seasoned with salt, to a boil.  Add the yams and cook until knife tender.  Drain.  In your stand mixer, add the potatoes and beat.  Add honey (start out with about 1/4 cup) and blend.  Adjust seasonings to your personal taste.


Corn cakes with chipotle yogurt sauce.

Katrin from Running With Devil(ed) Eggs is one of my very best foodie friends on Facebook!  She makes me laugh hysterically, inspires me with her generosity and kindness… I just love her!  I couldn’t resist having her share a delicious treat from her food repertoire & boy she delivered.  These look incredible!

Thanks Katrin!!  oxoxox Robin



Did you see the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce?
It’s PERFECT for the corn cakes I’m about to share with you.

I had to make em.
My dear friends mommy turned a milestone age 2 weeks ago and I was in charge of making them for her party.  They were gobbled up quicker than free gas!  Naturally they should be shared with my family too!  Not the gas, just the cakes.

Now these ones differed slightly than the ones I made for the soiree *using Bisquick*.
I didn’t have any of that nor cornmeal on hand but I did have a box of Jiffy corn bread mix.
Honestly speaking, we picked it up on our wedding road trip, never using it before for anything so I was flying blind.

The texture was wonderful, they held up very well with the frying, and as mentioned, they accompanied the chipotle sauce swimmingly!

I roasted off some ears of corn on the bbq but using canned corn would work too.

I’m Listening to:  Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam

makes approx. 12 – 15 2″ cakes

1 box Jiffy Cornbread mix
2-3 tbsp. flour
3 ears of corn roasted and kernels removed
(or 1 can of kernels)
1/2 yellow pepper diced finely
1/2 red pepper diced finely
3-4 green onions sliced
couple pinches of fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Prepare the Jiffy mix as directed on the package.
Add in the flour – your mixture should resemble a thicker pancake batter.  My first go round I didn’t add any flour – they lacked a certain hold together component, hot mess I tell ya!

Incorporate the spices and then add in your veggies, stirring just to combine.
Heat a skillet on med-high.  Now, I used 2 methods of cooking these.
The first half I fried in an inch of veggie oil and the other half I simply prepared with a lightly greased pan (these turned out more like pancakes in consistency)
You choose what you feel best suits your pallet!  We enjoyed both methods.

Drop by tablespoon (rounding them out) into the pan.
Either way you choose to make them you are only going to fry them about 3 minutes per side (or less) as you want them to be golden brown.

If frying in oil, transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel.
You can also make a bunch and keep them hot by placing them in a warm oven (set about 200F) until all have been made and you are ready to serve.
Drizzle with cream sauce!

Sauce recipe:


1/3 c. yogurt
1/4 c. mayo
2 tsp. chipotle in adobo
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
pinch of chili powder

Chop up a little chipotle but use the adobo as your base.
Add this to your yogurt and mayo.  Mix well to combine.
Start adding in your spices, tasting as you go.
That’s it….


Red, White and Blue Potato Salad.

Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips is my guest blogger for today.  I love the recipe she is sharing with you guys and it’s perfect for any patriotic themed party, Olympic celebration or any summer picnic!  Brianne is a good friend of mine who always makes me smile.  She is whiz kid in the kitchen and you have to check her out.

Thanks girl for guest blogging for me!  oxoxo Robin



Take it from here Brianne…

Potatoes get a bad rap.  Perhaps that’s because most of the time we eat them fried, covered with cheese, or mashed with butter and cream.  But really, the potato is not the bad actor here.  In fact, one medium sized potato (about 5 oz.) with its skin has only 110 calories, zero fat, and no sodium.  And it provides more potassium than a banana, 2 g of fiber, and half your daily value of vitamin C.  So potatoes can definitely be part of a healthy diet.

Just not when they are drowned in mayonnaise.  Like my mom’s potato salad.  She makes it the pretty traditional way, with just mayo (and a lot of it), white vinegar, salt, pepper, and chopped hard-boiled eggs.  Everyone in my family goes nuts over her potato salad.  Anytime she makes it, she pretty much uses an entire 5 lb. bag of potatoes, and sometimes I think my sister could eat the whole bowl.  I am an outcast and practically disowned because I don’t like it.  But I am just not a mayo fan.  And hard-boiled eggs – yuck!  So it isn’t just her potato salad.  Most other kinds I encounter are even worse because they have two of my least favorite things – raw onions and celery.

So when I saw US Potato Board Healthy Summer Potato Salad Recipe Contest for Recipe ReDux members that challenged us to create a healthier version of this summertime staple, I was totally on board.  I wanted to come up with a potato salad that I would love, and would feel good about eating.  I actually thought about my Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing recipe when I was trying to decide what to make.  So I swapped out the mayo for fat free Greek yogurt to lower the calories and fat, and add lots of calcium and protein.  Then I wanted to amp it up with bacon and blue cheese – two ingredients that have tons of flavor, so only a little is needed to have a big impact.  I used three slices of a lean, center cut bacon, which I cooked until crispy, and drained well.  So the bacon really just served as a seasoning.  And you can even use a reduced fat blue cheese, like I did.  The creaminess and tang from the yogurt, versus the sharp bite of the cheese and smokiness of the bacon really elevated the standard potato salad.  I honestly have never had a potato salad that just hit your palate in so many ways in just one bite.  This will be my go-to recipe from now on.

Unless mom is making the potato salad.  (Love you, mom!)

And it went so well with this nice, lean filet, some collard greens, and a nice Cabernet. A perfect summertime meal.

Recipe type: Salad, Side
Author: Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Serves: 4-8
  • 2 lbs. small red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 slices center cut bacon
  • 1/2 c Greek yogurt (fat free or low fat)
  • 3 T cider vinegar
  • 1/4 t dry mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 T chopped scallion
  • 1/2 c crumbled blue cheese (regular or reduced fat)
  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl, and cool completely.
  4. Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy, and drain well on a paper towel.
  5. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, cider vinegar, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and stir until well-mixed.
  7. Gently fold in the reserved bacon, blue cheese, and scallions.
  8. Pour the Greek yogurt mixture over the potatoes, and toss gently.

If you are preparing the potato salad in advance, you can add just 2 T of cider vinegar to the Greek yogurt mixture, then add the remaining 1 T just before serving to moisten it.


Best grilled corn.

Okay this is the EASIEST recipe ever!  Buy the corn from your local farmer and cook it that day.  Preheat your gas grill to 450 degrees and place the corn directly over the heat.  Cook for 10 minutes on one side and then roll the other for an additional 10 minutes.  No soaking.  No pre-husking.  The husks will char up beautifully adding a great smokey flavor.  Remove from the grill and let cool for about 6-8 minutes.  Husk and then enjoy!


Pistachio Mint Tabbouleh {made with quinoa not bulgar}.

I adore side dishes like this during the summer.  Make ahead.  Serve at room temperature.  This screams summer.  Bright flavors.  Crunchy texture.  {yum.}


1 cup of cooked quinoa (red or white)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best)
1/2 teaspoon of raw honey (regular is fine as well)
1 cup of shelled pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of fresh mint, chopped
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 spring onion, diced
10 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Zest from one lemon


Combine in a bowl the lemon juice and honey.  Whisk to combine.  Then add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat/mix.  Serve at room temperature.


Fresh summer fruit & red quinoa balsamic salad.

This quick and easy salad is perfect for a refreshing summer dinner.  We are off early tonight to head to a swim meet and this protein-packed dinner.  You can certainly use whatever free stone fruit and berries that you have on hand and make this your very own.


1 cup of red or white quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 quart of strawberries, hulled, washed and chopped
2 peaches, stone removed and chopped
1 nectarine, stone removed and chopped
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Zest from half of a lemon
15 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup of good quality balsamic vinegar


Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir well.  I leave this sit on my countertop for about 20 minutes prior to serving to let the balsamic seep into the fruit.  Serve alongside chicken, fish or pork.  Enjoy!  Would also make a great breakfast :)