Devilled Eggs

If you have ever been to a potluck, you know that devilled eggs are the star of the show!

They are usually cleaned out well before the last person makes it through the line.

And the person who brought them? Well, they practically get hero status!

Devilled eggs seem to have a reputation for being a tough appetizer to make, but if you know how to peel the eggs with ease you’re set!

The trick is to cook the eggs correctly.

This is KEY!

If you don’t cook them correctly, you will wind up with shells that don’t want to peel off or over-cooked, rubbery eggs that have green yolks.

It has taken me many batches of practice to get this part down, so here are my secrets to perfect devilled eggs!

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Eggs in the ice bath.
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I grew up believing that boiled eggs need to be started in cold water and brought to a boil.

Not only does this take longer, but the eggs also are difficult to peel with this method.

Pro tip #1: place the eggs in a large pot with HOT water.

Salt the water and bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

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Pro tip #2: simmer for exactly 12 minutes!

I have tried different cook times to find that perfect balance of being fully cooked through to the yolk without getting that weird green tinge.

If you are hosting a Saint Patrick’s day event, green yolks may be a hit – otherwise it just looks gross.

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Pro tip #3: IMMEDIATELY scoop the eggs out and plunge them into an ice bath.

This stops the cooking process and is the key for eggs that are easy to peel.

Allow them to cool fully in the ice bath before peeling.

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Perfectly cooked eggs with bright yellow yolks.
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Pro tip #4: peel the eggs under cold, running water.

Gently crack the egg on the counter (you don’t want to make the shells puncture the egg) so the shell is shattered on all sides.

Peeling the egg under running water helps pull the shell away from the egg.

Plus, you were going to have to rinse the egg anyway to make sure there are no surprise crunches when eating them.

So basically you are getting two birds with one stone… or should I say eggs..?

I find it easiest to start peeling at the rounded end of the egg rather than the pointed part.

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Overcooked eggs with a green rim in the yolk.
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Once the eggs are all peeled, cut them in half and carefully remove the yolk.

Pro tip #5: place the egg yolks directly into a ziplock plastic bag.

This makes for less dishes, which is ALWAYS a win in my books!

Add the Miracle Whip, mustard, salt, and a splash of pickle juice (not too much though, you don’t want the yolk mixture to be runny).

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For you loyal Hellman’s Mayonnaise supporters out there, go ahead and ditch the Miracle Whip for your Hellmans.

Zip the bag shut and mix the ingredients together with your hands until you have an even mixture with a creamy consistency.

Snip a small hole in one corner of the bag and squeeze the mixture into the egg whites.

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Classic devilled eggs.
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Sprinkle with paprika and chill.

Enjoy being the hero who brought the rare delicacy to your next gathering!

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Pro tip #6: Egg freshness

I know many people believe that older eggs are easier to peel, which may be true.

However, I would rather use the freshest eggs because the yolk color is so much better and – more importantly – are centred in the egg!

Older eggs tend to have the yolk more to the rounded end of the egg, which gives you a very thin egg white on that edge to hold the yolk mixture.

If you want the very best yolks, go with free-range eggs.

The difference in color is amazing!

Plus, free-range eggs are packed with nutrients.

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Recipe

6 large eggs

1/3 cup Miracle Whip

1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon pickle juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

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Directions

Add eggs to large pot with hot water.

Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 12 minutes.

Immediately remove from heat and place eggs in an ice bath.

Allow to cool fully, then peel under running water.

Cut in half and remove yolks.

Combine yolk, Miracle Whip, mustard, pickle juice, and salt and mix until creamy.

Use a plastic bag to squeeze the yolk mix into the egg whites.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Chill fully, then serve!

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Makes 12 devilled eggs

Enjoy!

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Classic devilled eggs.
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If you liked this recipe, don’t forget to subscribe and check out my potato salad recipe that is a hit for BBQ season!

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Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a rare treat in our home, simply because I get into a rut and end up making the same 5 or 6 meals on repeat.

Who else has been there?

It can be so frustrating trying to break out of that cycle and think up something new and exciting to make for dinner!

And that is where scalloped potatoes come in to save the day!

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Yes, they take a little longer to make than those easy meals-on-repeat, but it is so worth it for a fabulous dish that the whole family loves.

I tend to triple or even quadruple this recipe so I can freeze extra trays for an easy side dish with the prep time already out of the way.

Scalloped potatoes go well with so many meals, but meatloaf has been my go-to dish to serve it with (no, my recipe is not the notorious “MYSTERY” meatloaf!).

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So let’s get down to it!

First, chop the onions, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté in butter until soft.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, slice the potatoes into thin rounds of equal thickness.

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Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the flour to the pot and mix well with the buttery mixture.

Allow it to brown, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.

This step adds so much flavour and is the “secrete” to good sauces and gravy.

(I remember a family friend being impressed that I knew to brown my flour when I was only 14 years old)

Next, add the cream of mushroom soup and milk, stirring out any lumps.

Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

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Layer the sliced potatoes in a greased pan and spoon the cream sauce over the potatoes, one layer at a time.

Typically this will take 4-5 layers in a standard 9×9 pan.

If you want a faster, easier option you can cube the potatoes rather than slice them and simply mix everything together in the baking pan.

I find that I am much faster at cubing potatoes than slicing them and then I can skip the layering step, however it does not get the traditional scalloped potatoes look.

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Once you have layered all the ingredients, cover with tin foil and place in the pre-heated oven for an hour at 350º or until fork tender.

Remove the foil and allow to bake for another 5-10 minutes to brown the top.

Serve with your favourite main dish and veggies – and enjoy!

Some optional ingredients you can add are cheese on top, bacon bits mixed into the cream sauce or garnishing with green onions.

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Recipe

4 medium potatoes, sliced

2 cups milk

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup

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Optional Ingredients

Cheddar cheese

Bacon bits

Green onions

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Instructions

Slice potatoes into thin rounds of even thickness.

Sauté onions, mushrooms, and garlic in a large sauce pan with butter until soft.

Add salt, pepper, and flour and allow to brown before adding the cream of mushroom soup and milk, stirring out any lumps.

Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

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Layer potatoes in a 9×9 greased baking pan and cover with sauce, then layer again and cover with sauce.

Repeat until all potatoes have been added and cover with a final layer of sauce.

Cover with tin foil and bake at 350º for 1 hour or until fork tender.

Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Chunky Salsa

Homemade salsa is so much better than store-bought and is quick and easy to make.

Whether serving it as a side, garnish or a stand-alone chip dip, chunky salsa is a winner.

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Chop the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro finely.

Some people prefer to remove the seeds from the jalapeños, however I enjoy the extra crunch and heat they add.

Mix all ingredients well and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and sugar.

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Yes, sugar!

I know that seems a little odd for a dish that is supposed to be spicy, but it makes the flavours pop!

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Zest 1/4 of a lime and squeeze the lime juice over the salsa.

Serve as a chip dip along side homemade guacamole or pair with chicken fajita taquitos or fried tacos.

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Recipe

1 large roma tomato

1/4 red onion

1 large jalapeño

1 bunch of cilantro

1/4 lime zest

1/4 lime juice

Salt

Pepper

Cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon sugar

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Directions

Finely chop all vegetables and combine.

Zest 1/4 lime, then squeeze the juice into the salsa.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Add sugar and mix well.

Enjoy!

(Serves 2)

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Taco Salad

Cinco De Mayo was just last week and I decided a taco salad for lunch seemed like a tasty way to celebrate Mexican inspired cuisine!

I have a special appreciation for authentic Mexican food, but also enjoy our North American version of this style of cooking.

Sure, taco salad has a heavy dressing and even CHIPS – but it is loaded with nutritional veggies that I personally feel balance it all out.

It is like comfort food and health food in perfect harmony.

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Slice all your veggies.

When it comes to making a good salad, the thiner the pieces the better; the more flavour you get on your fork in one bite the better the salad will taste!

We have all had that hugely chopped salad where one cucumber piece is an entire bite – or you are left to cut all your own veggies up on your plate.

For the salad mix, I prefer romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, and red onion.

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Some optional ingredients that I have used in the past and quite enjoy are corn, black beans or even sliced black olives.

For the dressing, I add 1 part salsa and 1 part sour cream – finishing it off with lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, along with shredded cheddar cheese and taco meat.

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Drizzle dressing over the salad and mix well.

Plate and top with crushed corn chips of choice.

I have used anything from plain corn chips, to cheese chips, to jalapeño cheese chips.

The choice is up to you!

Next, add a side of avocado and sprinkle with cilantro.

(Cilantro seems to be a “love it or hate it” herb, so if you hate it, just skip this step. I won’t judge!)

Finish off with some freshly ground pepper.

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You can treat this as a main course (like I did for lunch) or serve as a starter salad with Chicken Fajitas or Beef Taquitos.

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Recipe

Salad Mix

1/2 head of romaine lettuce, shredded

6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 English cucumber, chopped

Red onion, sliced thinly, to taste

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Optional ingredients: corn, black beans, and sliced black olives.

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Dressing

1/4 cup salsa

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 lemon zest

1/4 lemon, juiced

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Topping

Corn chips, crushed, to taste

Cilantro (optional) to taste

1/2 avocado, sliced and split between servings

(serves 2 as starter salad)

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Directions

Slice vegetables, add to a mixing bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and taco meat.

Drizzle with salad dressing and mix well.

Plate and top with crushed corn chips, garnish with cilantro, and add a side of sliced avocado.

Enjoy!

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Loaded Hasselback Potatoes

Looking for ideas to switch up your meal routine?

This fun way to fancy-up a baked potato is simple and tasty!

Russet potatoes are the best for this recipe because of their consistent size, shape, and great baking qualities.

Lay chopsticks on either side of your potato and slice into thin pieces.

The chopsticks help keep and even amount of potato attached at the bottom.

Slice up some cheddar cheese and jalapeños.

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Stuff your potato with the cheese and jalapeños.

Next, melt some butter and add a clove of minced garlic.

Brush potatoes with the butter mix.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Place in the pre-heated oven at 450º and bake for 1 hour or until fork tender.

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Once it is finished baking, transfer to a plate.

Add sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits, diced jalapeños, and garnish with green onion.

(CLICK HERE FOR HOW TO GROW AN ENDLESS SUPPLY OF GREEN ONIONS FOR FREE!)

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Goes well with Premium Roast Beef, Hamburgers or BBQ Chicken.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (CLICK HERE) make a great side!

Enjoy!

(Serves 2)

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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Who here likes their veggies?

Or do you simply eat them to get your dose of greens like you’re supposed to?

I personally love most veggies, but Brussels Sprouts had never been in my top 10 picks.

With grocery stores having shortages and limited supply on a lot of the vegetables I typically would buy, I ended up substituting Brussels Sprouts so we had at least some greens to go with our meals.

Turns out I like them a lot better when they are home-cooked!

This simple recipe only requires 5 ingredients – including the Brussels Sprouts!

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Start by adding butter to a pan on medium heat.

Once it is melted, add the Brussels Sprouts and sauté until they are fork tender.

If they are fresh, this doesn’t take very long; if they are frozen, plan for it to take a few minutes more.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, leaving on heat for 1-2 minutes.

You can serve the sprouts whole or cut them in half.

Serve and enjoy!

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They pair well with Premium Roast Beef and Loaded Hasselback Potatoes.

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Recipe

3 cups Brussels Sprouts

2 tablespoons butter

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Sauté Brussels Sprouts with butter on medium heat.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

When they are fork-tender, add balsamic vinegar and leave on heat for another 1-2 minutes.

Fast, easy, and tasty – enjoy!

(Serves 2)

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Potato Salad

Can you say “yum” to this side that completes any summertime, sizzling BBQ?

The smell of burgers on the grill, the sound of loved-ones visiting in the background, the feel of warm, evening sunshine on your face…

… for me, these are the sweet memories brought back by this recipe.

I know many people think potato salad is a lot of work and takes soooo much time.

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Which is true in the fact that it takes time, but a lot less work than many would think.

I have customized this recipe with all of my favourite ingredients.

As a rule of thumb, I plan for 1 medium sized potato per person and 2 eggs per potato.

Half the eggs get mixed into the potato salad, while the other half are beautiful sliced accents on top.

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Start by peeling the potatoes.

Dice them into cube sized pieces.

Add to a pot with cold water and salt.

Pro tip: add your eggs to the pot with the potatoes to reduce dishes and get perfectly cooked eggs!

Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are fork-soft.

This will take about 8-10 minutes.

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Next, drain the water and place the eggs in a bowl with ice water until they are fully cooked.

While the eggs cool, add Miracle Whip, mustard, dill, and diced pickles.

I usually add a splash of pickle juice for a bit of extra zip.

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Peel the egg, add half of them to the bowl with the potatoes and mash slightly.

If you prefer to chop the eggs rather than mash, go for it! I find using a fork just as easy as cutting them and it makes less mess.

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Slice the remaining eggs into rounds.

Scoop the potato salad into your serving dish and top with the sliced eggs.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Chill until fully cooled and enjoy!

Potato salad makes a great side to go with hamburgers fresh off the grill, smothered in toppings, and finished off with homemade sourdough hamburger buns!

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Recipe

2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 eggs

1/2 cup Miracle Whip

1 tablespoon mustard

2 large pickles, diced

2-3 sprigs dill, chopped

1 teaspoon salt (added to pot while cooking potatoes)

Paprika, sprinkled to taste

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Boil the potatoes and eggs together in salted water until potatoes are fork tender, about 8-10 minutes.

Place eggs in ice water until cool and drain potatoes.

Mix potatoes, Miracle Whip, mustard, pickles, and dill.

Add 2 eggs and mash slightly with a fork.

Transfer potato salad to serving dish.

Slice remaining 2 eggs into rounds and place on top of potato salad.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Chill until completely cool.

Enjoy!

(Serves 2)

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Rosemary Rice

I grew up cooking traditional meals; a protein, a starch, and a green veggie was expected as a balanced combination.

Therefore, rice has been a staple in my cooking for many years.

There are many ways to make rice as a pairing with the meal of choice; Mexican rice to go with fajitas, plain white rice to go with “haystacks” or, one of my favourites, rosemary rice to go with Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken Breast!

The rosemary is not only a fragrant addition to the rice, but is also a healthy herb to integrate into meals.

Add rice, water, rosemary, wild rice, salt, & butter.

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Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.

Simmer on low for 8 minutes and fluff with a fork.

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Recipe

1/2 cup jasmine rice

1 tablespoon wild rice (optional)

1 teaspoon rosemary

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 tablespoon salted butter

Bring to boil, then turn to low for 8 minutes.

Fluff with fork and enjoy!

Serves 2

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