Crispy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

These are the BEST side dish for company. Everybody loves a potato, am I right? These cute little guys couldn't be easier to roast up. They turn out super crispy and go good with almost anything. I love to serve them plain, or drizzled with a sauce like basil pesto. Almost always accompanied with a light salad and roasted chicken, this is a great dish even for a weeknight meal. Super cheap, super easy.

Crab Cakes

This is a Mr. McMillen fave, but I have adopted my own version because everything I seem to find online has too much "crap." Tons of mayonnaise, extra unnecessary steps, etc. I just wanted something easy and light, more crab than cake. So, here is my favorite way to make these. I love them as a special treat or app on Valentine's Day or an anniversary. This makes a HUGE amount - like 7/8 pretty large crab cakes. So feel free to half it if there is just two of you, although my husband wasn't complaining about two days worth of leftovers, ha. Again, these are rough measurements, taste and play around with it. Sometimes I add red pepper or omit the shallots. Just depends on what I have.

What I Traded From Joe

I think this post may be my number one requested, and I am FINALLY doing it. I am a self proclaimed Trader Joe's professional. I go once a week and buy about 90% of our household groceries there. I religiously go before later. I have even set my alarm before. THIS IS MY NUMBER ONE ADVICE - GO EARLY. You will not regret it. Stop at your favorite coffee shop on the way, carve out a little "you" time, enjoy the empty store, newly stocked shelves, friendly employees and the awesome classic rock they usually play (at least my store does). It is worth getting up early on a Sunday, especially when you realize what a mad house it turns into after 10am.

Best Vinaigrette Ever (and a Winter salad to put it on)

I almost always make all my own salad dressings. After doing that for a while, I can hardly stomach bottled versions. It's super easy, there's no fake weird stuff going in there, and you can adjust based on your own tastes and preferences. This is my go to salad dressing because it is good on almost ANY kind of salad you can think up, even pasta salad! It is super easy, and I also love that the ingredients are things I almost always have in my kitchen.

Pecan Pesto

I LOVE pecans. Hate walnuts. So weird, right? I also LOVE, love, love the smell of fresh basil. Trader Joe's often carries big basil plants for less than $5 and I buy them all the time! I have black thumbs, but can usually keep them alive long enough to get a few months of use out of them. I think that's worth the investment, yea? I came up with this recipe when I had to trim quite a bit of basil off of a plant. All I had was pecans in the house and they added a surprisingly distinctive nuttiness to this recipe that I loved. As always...maybe more than ever... EVERYTHING is eyeballed. No exact measurements here. I will give you a rough guideline but do what feels right according to your own personal tastes. This is super easy, no cook time, and delicious on everything from pasta to sandwiches.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

This is one of my absolute favorite dishes to whip up. Tabbouleh has a lot of bright flavors, and is traditionally made with bulgar. Quinoa can be a little easier to find and packs a lot of great protein and I usually have it in the pantry. This is great to food prep for lunches, pack for a picnic, or as a side dish to a main course like chicken or fish.

Stuffed Artichokes

This dish can be a little labor intensive at first, but once it is in the oven it will give you a chance to prep the rest of the meal, or enjoy a glass of wine with your guests. It is impressive enough for an elaborate dinner party, but just as good on a weeknight in. As long as artichokes are in season, this is also very inexpensive...just a few ingredients!