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I'm Nicole. I am a wife, mother, shop owner on Mackinac Island, and lover of handmade. The little things and little moments inspire me. Follow me on my blog as I write about shop news, my travels, island life and motherhood.
Nicole
xo.

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little luxuries

Today I'm sharing two new recipes that I'm loving for spring!
Avocado Corn Salad from the blog, Cookin' with Mama!
Ingredients:
  • 3 Corn Cobs
  • 2 Large Avocados
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes Cut in Half
  • 1/4 of a Small Purple Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Salad Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic

Instructions

1. Boil the corn for 5-7 minutes and then allow to cool. Cut off the corns flesh with a knife or corn slicer tool.

2. Cut the avocado into large cutes, tomatoes into halves, thinly slice the onions and chop the cilantro. 

3. Place everything in a bowl and add the dried cranberries.

4. Prepare the dressing by mixing the salad ingredients together. Pour over the salad ingredient and toss to coat everything well.

5. Serve and Enjoy! 

Shot from Amanda's Cookin'

The next recipe that I am excited about for Spring is from Amanda's Cookin'. It's a Mexican Chicken Casserole that is delicious and the whole family will enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups of Crushed Tortilla Chips
  • 15 oz. Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 2 Cups of Chopped Cooked Chicken, If you're in a hurry a rotisserie chicken works great for this!
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 21 Ounces of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • (1) 10 oz. Can of Rotel Tomatoes, Undrained
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Jack Cheese
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Tomato, Diced
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro, Rinsed and Chopped
  • Jalapeños, optional

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 13×9 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Crush tortilla chips lightly and sprinkle approximately 1 cup across the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Layer diced chicken and black beans over the crushed chips.
  4. Stir 1 teaspoon of cumin into the cream of chicken soup. Spread the soup mixture over the chicken and beans, using a spatula to gently spread it evenly over the entire top. Add canned tomatoes over the soup layer.
  5. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the tomato layer and top with remaining crushed chips.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly and the cheese is fully melted.
  7. Garnish casserole with cilantro and chopped tomatoes.
  8. Serve immediately with a slice or two of fresh jalapeño.

 Tips & Trips: 

  • Do not drain Rotel tomatoes before adding to casserole.
  • You can substitute Doritos for regular tortilla chips.
  • For another flavor element, mix a 4 oz. can of diced chiles into the soup/cumin mixture.
  • Prepare ahead of time except for the tortilla chips over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle with chips. Bake until hot and bubbly. 

 I hope that you and your family love these as much as we do! If you make them, tag us in your photos over on Instagram! 

 

 

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Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles

 

This past weekend, I made this new recipe and we all LOVED it! It was so delicious and incredibly easy.

For the ingredients list you need —

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 4 tsp minced ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 green onions diced
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a medium skillet with high sides on the stovetop, brown the ground beef along with the ginger and garlic until beef is cooked through. Use the back of a wooden spoon to make sure meat is broken up well. Drain any fat and return the pan to the stovetop.
    2. While the ground beef is cooking, get a pot of water started for your pasta noodles. Be sure to salt the water well so that your noodles soak up that flavor.
    3. Combine the remaining ingredients -- the soy sauce, beef broth brown sugar, red pepper flakes, pepper, and hoisin sauce in a small dish and pour into ground beef mixture.
    4. Let them saute in the pan for about 3 minutes to allow the ground beef to absorb the flavors.
    5. Once your pasta is done cooking, transfer the noodles to the mixture. Mix thoroughly and allow to cook for a couple of more minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
    6. Top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds for the perfect noodle dish!

This recipe and picture is from https://jenaroundtheworld.com/mongolian-ground-beef-noodles/. I’m saving it to our recipe book for future, easy meals!

I hope that you try it and love it as much as we do!

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Tortellini Minestrone Soup

One of my favorite soups to make for winter is Tortellini Minestrone Soup! It was so chilly and rainy this past weekend, so it was the perfect meal to warm us all up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 4 Large Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Peeled & Diced
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Kidney Beans, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil 
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 (9-ounce_ package cheese tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Set a large pot over medium-high heat with olive oil. Once hot, add in the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice and the beans. 
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano and basil.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the veggies soften, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the tortellini and cook until they float, about 3-5 minutes
  6. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of cheese on top.

This recipe takes just around 50 minutes to make and is so delicious! Tell me, what’s one of your favorite soups to make for winter? 

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Fruit Pizza

I made mine in a heart shaped pan because it was for Tommy. ❤️ 
My mom made this often growing up for our sporting events and family gatherings. It's SO good and so easy!
Two Packages of Sugar Cookie Dough
One Container of Cool Whip
One Package of Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Assortment of fruit - you can use blueberries, grapes, strawberries, kiwi, melon, whatever you love! 
Fruit Pizza
Spread the cookie dough on a baking sheet, bake until golden brown, let cool. Combine cool whip, vanilla and softened cream cheese together. Spread over cookie dough. Sprinkle your fruit on top. Enjoy!
I hope that you can enjoy this recipe and that it will bring a smile to your family's faces during this time at home! 
xo Nicole
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Nicole's Favorite Salad
This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite (and easy!) salad recipes!
I make this salad for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, or really any special gathering. 
Nicole’s Favorite Salad
What You’ll Need:
Romaine lettuce
Sliced red onion
Broccoli florets
Cooked bacon
Tomatoes
Dressing: 
In blender mix:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 tbls. celery seed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp salt
Blend together just before serving
Add any of your favorite salad ingredients. You can add shredded cheese, cranberries...the dressing is what makes this salad really good!!
My mouth is watering, just thinking about making this salad for our family’s Christmas gathering! I hope you enjoy this scrumptious healthy dish!
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