Welcome to my food blog! I am your average home cook and I want to share my love of food with the world. I'll divulge my recipes as often as possible. Feel free to comment or to email me at nodessertpodcast@gmail.com! Don' forget to come by often for new posts... I love having you visit me!

July 29, 2013

Summer Special - Party Food

Summer is a great time for parties!  The weather is warm, everyone seems more relaxed, and BBQ's and pool parties abound.  From Memorial Day until Labor Day the grill is a great way to cook some good eats. I am not a griller, but my friends are and they do a great job.  My job is usually side dishes, and the dish that has become my most requested item is a Loaded Potato Salad.  It has made even non-potato salad eaters in to potato salad lovers.  Today I thought I would share my recipe for this amazing side dish, as well as share some pictures from my awesome friend Meatball, who in my opinion should be a professional chef!  From his spicy NOLA crawfish, to his tender, delectable ribs, to his buttery, tasty shrimp with a kick, so far everything I've tried that he's made has been a winner.  As a bonus, I'm going to share my Champagne Punch recipe with you.  Refreshing and relaxing, this cocktail is easy to put together and great for ANY party!

Meatball's Crawfish Boil - Worth getting your hands dirty!

Meatball's Ribs - Getting ready for the grill...
Meatball's Ribs - Don't those look delicious?
Meatball's Shrimp - Before they hit the grill

Meatball's Shrimp - AMAZING!

Melissa's Famous Loaded Baked Potato Salad
3lb bag petite red potatoes (you can use regular red or Yukon gold potatoes as well)
1/2 lb bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, reserving 1 tbs of bacon grease
1/2 bag (4oz) shredded sharp cheddar
1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly

mayonnaise (I use Hellmann's, and ONLY Hellmann's, but feel free to use your favorite)
smoked paprika
salt and pepper
onion powder

Boil potatoes until fork tender, 20-30 minutes (after 20 minutes, check every 3 minutes or so).  Hint, while potatoes are boiling I fry up my bacon and drain it.  If you cut your bacon in to pieces before putting it in the pan, no need to crumble it after it's fried, and it cooks up faster! Don't forget to reserve a tablespoon of the grease.
Drain potatoes.  Add your reserved tablespoon of bacon grease and toss the potatoes in that and a light dusting of salt and pepper.  Next, add your mayonnaise.  I didn't provide a measurement because I eyeball it every time.  My advice is to start with a cup and then add more a tablespoon at a time as needed.  Then add in your shredded cheddar (reserving a sprinkle for the top) and crumbled bacon (also reserve a sprinkle of bacon for the top.  Season with salt, pepper, and approximately a tablespoon of onion powder and a tablespoon of the paprika.  Taste, then add more seasoning as necessary.  Top your salad with a sprinkle of paprika, a sprinkle of your reserved cheese, a sprinkle of your reserved bacon, and then sprinkle on your sliced scallions.


Potatoes Boiling

Finished Potato Salad

Guaranteed Crowd Pleaser

Don't you just want a bite?!?

Melissa's Champagne Punch:
1 bottle of your favorite champagne
1 2 liter of ginger ale
1 can of pink lemonade
A couple handfuls of ice
1 lemon, sliced

1 lime sliced

Combine first 4 ingredients in punch bowl and mix well.  Float in your lemon and lime slices. Enjoy!

July 22, 2013

Simply Sides 4 - Kale Chips

I am in LOVE with roasting all vegetables this year!  Carrots, potatoes, broccoli, etc.  In this post, I am going to give you a recipe for roasted kale, which is incredibly delicious, and becomes like a crunchy, good-for-you veggie chip!  I promise you, this is something you want to try!!! This can be a side dish OR a snack. Aaaannnd kale is relatively inexpensive, around $1, less than $2, per bunch.

Kale Chips


  • 1 bunch kale (I used curly, use any kind your grocer has available)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper (fresh ground pepper, and sea salt preferrably)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Wash and thoroughly dry kale (there can be grit that gets caught in the kale leave, especially if you use the curly kind).  Spread kale onto baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle on salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne.  Toss kale and respread  in to an even layer.  This is to make sure kale is evenly coated with oil and spices.  Sprinkle on parmesan.  Bake for 10-15 mins.  Be careful not to burn!  Enjoy!