What’s Cooking

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

I’m so happy peach season is finally here. If you like to bake with peaches as much as I do, try this week’s recipe for Fluffy Peach Breakfast Biscuits. We like to eat these for breakfast, dessert or anytime!


Fluffy Peach Breakfast Biscuits

2 3/4 cups Bisquick (gluten free if needed)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 1/4 cups fresh peaches, chopped small

3 tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (if using plain yogurt also add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)

1/3 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup quick oats

cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle


Glaze: 2 tbsp. milk + 1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together Bisquick, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add chopped peaches, toss to coat. Stir in until just combined the melted butter, vanilla yogurt, milk and egg. On a parchment covered baking sheet, spread dough out to 11 by 7 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle oats and cinnamon sugar mixture on top. With a knife or pizza cutter, lightly cut biscuits into 15 squares. Bake 12-15 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, make and drizzle glaze over top.

*1/3 cup chopped pecans sprinkled on top before baking is a great addition.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies (these are soft cookies)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. finely shredded zucchini (skin on)
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of salt
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
2/3 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together butter and light brown sugar, then stir in egg, vanilla and zucchini.   Next add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix until combined this gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts if using.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  ( 9 minutes is perfect for my oven)

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

After picking a lot of blackberries recently I froze most of them to use later but left some out for some recipes. This week I’d like to share a recipe for Blackberry Lemonade. Hope you enjoy some in this heat! It’s definitely worth the effort.


Blackberry Lemonade

1 1/2 cups. blackberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup. lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

4 cups water


Simple Syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water


In a small saucepan boil one cup sugar and one cup water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. Put blackberries in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain blackberries to remove seeds. In a pitcher mix together 4 cups water, lemon juice, strained blackberries and simple syrup. Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.


What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Watermelon limeade is a great refreshing drink in this hot summer heat. This recipe is great for a mocktail, cocktail or even popsicles. Believe me that the popsicles are grandson approved. It may take a little bit of time to make but it is so worth it!


Watermelon Limeade

2/3 cup water

2/3 cup sugar

6 cups watermelon, cut up

1 1/2 cups lime juice

3 cups water


In a saucepan boil water and sugar to make a simple syrup. Boil for a few minutes, just until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat and cool. Place watermelon in a blender and blend until it is all juice. Pour into colander with very small holes or use my method of lining the colander with coffee filters and strain watermelon juice. This step makes a big difference in the juice. Pour watermelon juice in a pitcher with simple syrup, lime juice and water. Stir and enjoy over ice!

*If you want it sweeter just make the simple syrup with 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water.


What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Since July 4th is coming up, it made me think of cookouts and what I might want to make. Since I have dietary issues I always like to make a dish that can be a meal just in case there isn’t anything else I can have. This week’s recipe for Taco Pasta Salad fits that description perfectly. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Taco Pasta Salad
1 12 oz. box rotini pasta (cooked per box instructions)
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 package taco seasoning
1 15 oz. can fire roasted corn, drained (sweet corn is good too)
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or even quartered
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or taco blend shredded cheese)
2 cups Frito’s chips, roughly crushed (tortilla chips or Dorito’s work too)
2 cups chopped or shredded lettuce
1 cup French, Catalina or Ranch dressing (this I find is personal preference)

Cook pasta according to box instructions, rinse with cold with cold water, put into a large bowl and set aside. In a skillet, cook onions and brown ground meat until no longer pink, drain if needed. Stir in taco seasoning and water (amount according to seasoning package) and simmer about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir into pasta the meat mixture, corn, black beans, tomatoes and 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover and refrigerate. Right before serving top with lettuce, remaining shredded cheese and crushed Frito’s chips.
*Dressing can be mixed in right before lettuce, cheese and chips are put on top or I like for each person to use their dressing of choice.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Blueberry Upside Down Cake
For topping:
2 1/2 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 pint blueberries, washed
For Cake:
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour (gluten free cup for cup works perfectly)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2-1/2 tbsp butter in 9 inch round cake pan and melt in preheating oven. When butter is melted, remove from oven and swirl pan around so sides get coated or use a paper towel to carefully grease the sides of the pan. Next sprinkle brown sugar over butter in pan and gently stir. Put blueberries in pan.

Beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form, set aside. In a large bowl cream together softened butter and sugar, then add egg yolks and vanilla; beat well. In another bowl stir together, flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to the butter alternately with the milk. Fold egg whites into batter. Pour into pan and spread over top of blueberries. Batter will be very thick. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for about 15 minutes, then flip cake onto large serving plate.
Enjoy and Happy Father’s Day! 

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Lately some days have been so hot that it’s hard to think about cooking a large dinner. Even if I cook the main dish I like to make cold salads for side dishes. This week I’d like to share a recipe that is one of my favorites, Cabbage Salad. Hope you enjoy it!


Cabbage Salad

1 10 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

1 14 oz. bag coleslaw

1/3 cup red onion, chopped small

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2-2 tbsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt


Put mandarin oranges, coleslaw mix, red onion, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, black pepper and salt. Pour dressing over top salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Stir before serving. (I like to stir a couple of times while it’s in the refrigerator “marinating.”)


What’s Cooking with Melissa?

On weeknights I’m usually trying to prepare a meal that doesn’t involve hours of preparation, and/or I’m trying to avoid the heat of the oven. Salads may not always be filling UNLESS you add pasta! Try this week’s recipe for Chicken Caesar Salad with Pasta and see how often your family wants you to prepare it for them.


Chicken Caesar Salad with Pasta

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tsp. minced garlic

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 – 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2-3 anchovies, chopped small and Optional (I don’t use these)

1 lb. pasta (penne, elbow, rotini), cooked and rinsed with cold water

1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved

6 large romaine leaves, sliced in thin strips

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 cups croutons

2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces


In a bowl mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and anchovies (if using them). Pour half the dressing over the pasta, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Also refrigerate remaining dressing. When ready to serve, pour and coat the pasta with the rest of the dressing. Gently stir in the grape tomato halves, romaine lettuce, green onions, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and chicken. Put croutons on top of entire salad or individual salads.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

With Memorial Day coming up, I thought I’d share some quick recipes with you. Most of us have our traditional recipes, but by doing a different marinade or sauce the recipe can be a great change.  

Shrimp or Chicken Marinade 

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. lime juice

2 tbsp. orange juice

2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

Mix marinade in a container or large plastic bag.  Add shrimp or chicken, toss to coat and refrigerate for at least an hour before cooking.

Strawberry/Banana Compote 

1 quart strawberries, washed and halved

3 large bananas, cut into bite size pieces

1 small box strawberry jello

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup water

Cut up fruit into a bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan whisk together the remaining ingredients. Turn heat on high and boil for 5 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Stir while boiling then remove from heat. Pour sauce over fruit, stir well to coat.  Refrigerate 1 hour or longer before serving.

Happy Memorial Day!  Enjoy and Be safe!

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Sometimes after I’ve thawed out meat like chicken or pork, I don’t feel like having the same old, same old. I’m sure many of you understand. On those nights I like to prepare sauces to spruce up the meat. Today’s recipe is for one of those sauces.

Polynesian Sauce

1 cup barbecue sauce (I use our favorite original recipe bbq sauce)

1 cup crushed pineapple with juice

1/4 cup onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup red/green bell peppers, chopped

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)

In a medium size saucepan on low heat, mix together barbecue sauce, crushed pineapple with juice, onion, peppers, soy sauce, minced garlic and salt. In a small bowl whisk together cold water and cornstarch until completely dissolved, then stir into barbecue mixture. Increase heat to medium and cook until thickened, stir occasionally.

*I like to serve this over chicken or pork and with rice. Add some veggies and it makes a great, tasty, quick supper! 

**I listed coconut as optional because our family prefers this sauce without it, and I wanted people to know it’s great with or without!