Couldn’t-Get-Lobster Shrimp Mac ‘n Cheese

Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned. Sometimes, you just gotta roll with it and adjust and make it work. So this mac ‘n cheese was supposed to have lobster and I couldn’t get my hands on tails, so, here we are with shrimp mac ‘n cheese. But not just any shrimp. The Argentinian shrimp from Trader Joe’s. It’s sweet and meaty and very lobster-y.

The key to a baller mac ‘n cheese is 100% the cheese. Using good quality white cheddar and gouda gives the flavor a little tang and a lot of creaminess. And if you’re on a diet, just avert your eyes. There’s nothing light about this recipe and I mean, if you’re going to go for mac ‘n cheese, let’s just really go for it, right?

Roasted Beet Salad with Pistachios & Goat Cheese

When I was a kid, I had such a thing for pickled beets. Sweet. Sour. Totally my jam. I still love some pickled beets, but I also really, really love roasted beets! They’re so good – a little meaty, a little earthy, just a hint of sweet and 100% satisfying.

As the weather has started to break, I’ve been very into salads. This one is just so simple, and you can roast beets to enjoy for the whole week. AND it’s elegant enough for entertaining – win win in my book.

I also think it’s very possible that I love beets because they make such a wonderful vehicle for salt. And y’all should know how much I love salt by now – I mean, I bring it back from every vacation we take! I love beets with a sel gris. It gives a little extra briney flavor that I just can’t get enough of. Plus, like the pistachios, it gives you a crunch to the buttery soft beets.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Cilantro Vinaigrette

I’ve taken a serious turn from my go-to vinaigrette to this cilantro vinaigrette I shared earlier in the week. Like a put-that-shit-on-everything serious turn. So now, we are going to talk about roasting fingerling potatoes and dunking them all up in that vinaigrette. You’ll love it.

Let’s chat about the potato choice, first. So a fingerling potato is a waxy potato. These kinds of potatoes, which would also include a red bliss potato (another fan-fav in our house), have less starch than say the classic Russet. A waxy potato has a smoother texture, so when you roast them you get that amazing crispy outer layer with the super creamy inside that has the greatest mouth feel.

Dinner Salads with Marinated Chickpeas & Cilantro Vinaigrette

For some reason, when I think about dinner I rarely consider salads. I think I have this idea in my head that when I’m making dinner for my husband it has to be a “thing” and a salad isn’t a “thing.” I usually think of it as needing to make a protein and a vegetable – but hello! Dinner salads are a protein and a vegetable!

I made this salad to be served along side the Turkey & Candied Bacon Paninis from yesterday, so I opted to use marinated chickpeas instead of a steak, chicken or shrimp. You can totally add an animal or fish protein to this salad to up the ante for an actual dinner salad! You do you boo, right?!

It’s hard to keep things fresh and new, especially when you’re talking about weekday cooking. Usually, I go to my go-to vinaigrette recipe, but it really can get a little old. There’s only so many times I can eat salad without getting bored, let alone salad with the same mustard-vinegar-lemon-olive-oil combo. So, for this salad I whipped up a cilantro vinaigrette (which I served with roasted potatoes, too!) – and I’m a better woman for it.

Turkey Paninis with Candied Bacon & Avocado

There are some holy grail of ingredient combinations and I swear, we found it in this panini! Extra savory bread, fatty avocado, sinfully good bacon? Yes, please.

I genuinely love a good sandwich for any meal of the day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. Doesn’t matter to me. #sandwichfan for life, ya know?

I whole heartedly believe the trick to a top notch panini is mayo. On the outside. Instead of butter. Have you heard this trick before? Usually it comes up in the good old, How to Make the Best Grilled Cheese. The trick is never the cheese, it’s in the mayo on the bread! If you haven’t tried it, you should. If you think it’s gross, I hear you, I get it, I’m with you. I respectfully disagree and go back to, if you haven’t tried it, you should.

No-Bake Chocolate Covered Shortbread Cookies

Oh, guys. Get ready. This is the easiest dessert EVER. Okay, maybe not really as easy as this one from Christmas, but really. This is crazy easy and you can totally say you made it all if you wanted to. These no-bake chocolate covered shortbread cookies are a go-to of mine when I need to get something together quickly.

These cookies are dipped in chocolate and then in nuts on the edges – cute right?! Any chopped nut will work, but for St. Paddy’s I went with pistachios, ya know, to be a little more festive.

You need just three ingredients for these:

Yes – you use premade, store bought shortbread cookies! I prefer the Kebler ones, tbh, if I’m trying to pass them off as homemade. The ones that are perfect rectangles with the holes are too obviously store bought. But, I’m a terrible liar so if someone says, “I can’t believe you made these!” I cave and tell them I bought the cookies and dunked them in chocolate.

Corned Beef Brisket Braised in Guinness

You need to know something about me as we start talking about how to make this corned beef brisket. I do not like corned beef brisket! Blasphemy, I know. But. Then I made this corned beef brisket and I’m into it.

This recipe actually happened by accident – well, kind of. I wanted to braise a brisket in Guinness, not a corned beef brisket because, ya know, didn’t think I liked it. But, Wegman’s was all out of brisket and the only option I had was corned beef, and this being a St. Paddy’s day-appropriate post, I said, heck with it let’s see what happens.

You know what happened? Freaking magic. Guys, this is so damn good. Like. SO GOOD. I was so excited about this I forgot to make mashed potatoes to serve it with, ended up making fries, and it was excellent. I mean, look at that sauce.

How to Make an Irish Godfather (Cocktail)

Leave it to St. Paddy’s day to be the perfect excuse to drink some whiskey all for the sake of research. Really guys, happy to take one for the team here to bring you a fun cocktail! Enter: Irish Godfather Cocktails.

My first introduction to this cocktail was with my family, exchanging stories about our grandfather just after he passed away early this year. My grandparents have always enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail, every day, and it’s really a family tradition I can get behind. My grandmother told us the only way she’d drink whiskey is with a splash of amaretto on top. Genius, she is! And then she was like, “Hailey. It’s a thing. It’s called the Godfather!”

Shepherd’s Pie with Red Wine Slow Cooked Beef & Gruyere Potatoes

Oh guys, I really do love chicken pot pie’s rustic little sister. Or big sister. Or cousin. Whatever. I’m v much into the shepherd’s pie this year! And how fitting it is for a St. Paddy’s celebration.

To really develop the flavors in the beef and the saucey filling, I slow cooked the chuck steak in the crockpot for 8 hours with beef stock, tomatoes and red wine. The red wine deepens the whole flavor and really ups the ante on how freaking amazing your house smells when you make this! Plus, a whole bunch of cheese in the potatoes doesn’t hurt, either.

My Go-To Couscous Non-Recipe Recipe

Yes, you can make couscous without a recipe! Couscous is definitely one of my phone-it-in side dishes when I’m not sure what to make and want to have something else on the table. I love anything I can customize to my preferences, mood and honestly, pantry. Enter: couscous non-recipe recipe!

You know how much I love a you-do-you-boo recipe, right? Hope so by now! And you can 100% customize your couscous to any of your own favorite flavors and absolutely whatever you have in your pantry. My couscous usually ends up with the same ingredients because they’re things I always, always have on hand in my pantry.