What’s Cooking

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

With Memorial Day coming up I’ve been looking at my dessert recipes. I’ve come across one that I’m making, and you just might want to try it too! Red, White and Blue Ambrosia is refreshing and very easy to prepare.


Red, White and Blue Ambrosia

1 pt. heavy cream, I use the light version

1 1/2 tbsp. powdered sugar

2 cups light sour cream

1 1/2 cups. shredded coconut

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained

1 pint strawberries, washed and sliced

1 pint blueberries, washed and dried well

3 cups miniature marshmallows

Optional for garnish:

1/4 cup each of pecans (finely chopped), maraschino cherries (halved), blueberries


With an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until thick. Mix in sour cream. Fold in coconut, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and marshmallows. Sprinkle pecans, maraschino cherries and/or blueberries on top to garnish. Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least chill 4-6 hours for best flavor).

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

My favorite salad is a good Greek salad. Instead of using lettuce in this week’s recipe, we’ll use cucumbers for a nice Greek Cucumber Salad. This will be a great addition to many cookouts this summer.

Greek Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, large, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup red onion, chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup sliced black olives


In a small bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper, set aside. In a large bowl combine, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and onions. Pour dressing over top of veggies and toss to mix well. Sprinkle feta cheese and black olives on top, gently mix. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

Grilling season is the best! It’s great not having the oven going when it’s hot outside. This week’s Lemon Rosemary Chicken is great for a main dish and served with sides. Or cut up the prepared chicken and put it on top of a salad. Either way you serve this chicken it’s a win-win!


Lemon Rosemary Chicken

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

2 tbsp. lemon juice, bottled or fresh squeezed

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 tbsp. fresh minced

2 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste


Stir together lemon juice, butter, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate chicken for at least one hour prior to grilling. When ready to grill chicken breasts, discard the marinade. On a preheated medium heat grill cook about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking (time depends on thickness of chicken breasts). Make sure chicken is done inside by cooking about 10 minutes on each side and by checking that the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.


Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

When spring comes I find it easy to incorporate salads as main meals. What’s even nicer is being able to make my own salad dressings and know what I’m putting into them. This week I’d like to share two dressing recipes that I hope you’ll enjoy.


Avocado Dressing

1 avocado, peeled and cut up

2 tsp. lime juice

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2-3/4 cup milk (almond milk also works well)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or water

1 tsp. garlic, minced (optional as it’s not needed)

1 tsp. cilantro, chopped (also optional)

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend on low speed until well blended. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to thicken. Store in a glass or air tight container for up to 1 week.


Taco Dressing

3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use light)

1 cup 2% milk

2 tbsp. taco seasoning (I use gluten free from a packet)

Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to thicken. Store in a glass or air tight container for up to 1 week.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

I love it when a recipe can do double duty. What I mean is this week’s recipe can be used for a breakfast cookie or a snack and it’s pretty nutritious too! Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are easy and are a great go to for all ages.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 cups quick cooking oats (I use gluten free oats)

2/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries

2/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional but good!)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together oats, dried fruit, seeds, chocolate chips, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Then stir in, pumpkin puree, beaten eggs, melted butter and maple syrup. Stir until combined. Drop by a little less than a 1/4 cup scoop of mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten a bit and bake 15-18 minutes (mine take 18 mins). Let cool then store in an airtight container.

Enjoy for breakfast, snack or dessert!!

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

I’ve done quinoa recipes before so this week I thought I’d share my absolute favorite quinoa recipe. This recipe can be used as a side dish or a main dish by adding some chicken.

Veggie Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed

1 3/4 cup chicken broth

2 tsp. olive oil

1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

1 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan bring to a boil the quinoa and chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken broth is absorbed. In a skillet, on medium, heat olive oil. Add veggies and cook for about 8 minutes or until they are tender. Stir occasionally. Mix in garlic, salt and pepper and cook a minute or two longer. Dump quinoa into veggie mixture, stir and serve warm.

*1/4 cup fresh chopped mint or parsley can be stirred in right before serving.

**More veggies like broccoli florets, chopped zucchini and asparagus are great additions also

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

I was big on casseroles, and now I’ve gotten into sheet pan recipes. I absolutely love when everything can be prepared in the same dish or pan. Preparation and clean up for this type of supper is a breeze!  Hope you enjoy this latest sheet pan recipe.

Turkey Sausage and Veggies
1 lb. of Smoked Turkey sausage or kielbasa
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup red/green bell peppers, chopped
2 cups sweet or white potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 cups zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup mushroom slices
2 tsp. garlic, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice sausage into 1 inch pieces. Put all sausage, veggies and garlic on a large cookie sheet with sides. Sprinkle spices, salt, pepper and olive oil over top. Toss to coat well. Cook for 20 minutes. Flip everything halfway through cooking.
*It’s great served with rice.
**Make this dish your own and use your favorite veggies!

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

After a big holiday dinner I always have ham left over and want to do something easy with it instead of another big meal. This week’s recipe will give you an easy way to use that ham and even some vegetables in a one dish casserole.

Ham & Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up into bite size pieces

2 cups rice, cooked or 1-1/2 cups elbow pasta, cooked

2 cups broccoli florets (peas and/or green beans can also be used)

1/4 cup onion, chopped small

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups ham, cooked and chopped

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 cup chicken broth or water

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish. In a large bowl combine the rice or noodles, chicken, broccoli, onion, cream of mushroom soup, ham, 1 cup of the Swiss cheese, chicken broth or water, pepper and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Pour into the greased casserole dish. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with remaining cup of Swiss cheese. Return to oven and cook for 15 more minutes, until hot and bubbly.

*You can also top with crushed crackers or breadcrumbs when adding the remainder of the cheese to the top of the casserole. Cook as directed.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

Making a coconut cake is very daunting to me. I’ve made plenty but it’s sad to say they’ve never turned out the same. Recently I made a cake for church and have been asked to make it for several more occasions. This cake is very easy to put together and for people who say “I don’t bake,” this you can do too!


Coconut Pineapple Cake

1 yellow cake mix and ingredients to bake as directed on the box

1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple

1/2 cup sugar

1 3 oz. pkg. vanilla instant pudding

1 1/2 cups milk

1 8 oz. container cool whip

1 1/4 cup shredded coconut (more or less depending on your tastes)

sprinkles and/or jelly beans to decorate (optional)


Bake cake according to package directions. While cake is hot use a fork to poke holes all over the top. In a small saucepan boil crushed pineapple and sugar for about 5 minutes. Pour mixture evenly over the hot cake. Cool completely. Whisk together vanilla pudding mix and milk. Refrigerate for 5 minutes, then spoon over the cake and spread. Next spread cool whip evenly over the cake, then sprinkle shredded coconut on top. If using sprinkles and/or jelly beans decorate right before serving.

Weekly’s What’s Cooking with Melissa

Cabbage, corned beef and/or ham are a staple at our house on St. Patrick’s Day. I used to cook them on the stove, and then I developed the love of putting everything into a casserole. This week’s recipe for Baked Cabbage can be served as a main or side dish.

Baked Cabbage

1 medium sized cabbage, 2-3 lbs.

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 cup chopped ham or corned beef

1/3 cup butter

2 tbsp. cornstarch

2 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut cabbage into large wedges, put in a large pot of boiling water with the chopped onions and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, then put into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle ham or corned beef on top. In a large saucepan, melt butter, stir in salt and pepper. With a fork stir cornstarch into the milk. Slowly pour milk and cornstarch into mixture and whisk over medium heat until thickened. Pour mixture into dish with cabbage. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.