Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad is fresh and bright, perfect for summer! Made with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olive, and plenty of herbs and lemon, this pasta salad is delicious on its own or alongside grilled chicken. INTRO WHAT IS ORZO If you’ve ever eaten orzo at a restaurant, you might think it’s a type of rice …

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Greek Orzo Salad is fresh and bright, perfect for summer! Made with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olive, and plenty of herbs and lemon, this pasta salad is delicious on its own or alongside grilled chicken.

White plate of greek orzo salad garnished with wedges of lemon

INTRO

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Key Lime Cheesecake

Coconut graham cracker crust topped with Key Lime Cheesecake filling and a swirl of whipped cream creates a simple and delicious dessert for every summer occasion. INTRO KEY LIME CHEESECAKE WITH COCONUT GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST I first discovered this recipe in the cookbook Glorious Layered Desserts by my friend Glory of Glorious Treats.  I love …

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Coconut graham cracker crust topped with Key Lime Cheesecake filling and a swirl of whipped cream creates a simple and delicious dessert for every summer occasion.

Assembled key lime cheesecakes topped with whipped cream and lime wedges

INTRO

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Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

These Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, perfectly chewy, and flavored with plenty of lemon zest and juice. Your family will love these bright sugar cookies! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made these Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies in the past 10 years, but it’s been a lot. I originally posted this recipe …

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These Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, perfectly chewy, and flavored with plenty of lemon zest and juice. Your family will love these bright sugar cookies!

Stack of chewy lemon sugar cookies. The top cookie has a bite taken out of it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made these Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies in the past 10 years, but it’s been a lot.

I originally posted this recipe in 2010 after finding it on Rock Recipes and after 10+ years, I thought it was time to share them again with new photos and updated text.

These Chewy Lemon Cookies are simple to make and bursting with lemon flavor, which in my opinion makes them the perfect cookie for summer!

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Spicy Guacamole Recipe

This simple Spicy Guacamole recipe is made with avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, lime, garlic, cilantro, and an extra kick from Sriracha. Make this guacamole as mild or as spicy as you like!  I’m all for trying different foods – at least once. Sometimes one bite is all it takes to make me a convert. Other times, …

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This simple Spicy Guacamole recipe is made with avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, lime, garlic, cilantro, and an extra kick from Sriracha. Make this guacamole as mild or as spicy as you like! 

White bowl filled with spicy guacamole set on a wooden board, surrounded by tortilla chips

I’m all for trying different foods – at least once. Sometimes one bite is all it takes to make me a convert. Other times, that first bite will be the only bite of that food that will ever cross my lips. 

For instance, I’ve eaten a raw oyster and a frog leg once – I’ll never consume either of these foods again. Recounting those moments gives me the shivers. But guacamole – that’s a totally different story.

Up until about 10 years ago, avocados and I weren’t on good terms. And if I’m being honest, I hated them before even giving them a chance. 

I think I had a negative textural perception of them. I’m big on textures and if something falls into the categories of slimy, gritty, jiggly or velvety (unless it’s ice cream), I immediately deem it as suspect.

Hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of spicy guacamole

Then, during a fateful trip to Whole Foods, I was wandering around and lost my friend for a minute. When I found him, he was standing in the middle of the produce section oohing and aahing over a tub of $9.00 guacamole. 

I went over to inspect the situation and was welcomed with a guacamole-covered chip shoved near my face. Of course, I got all dramatic, recoiled and claimed I hated the stuff. 

However, I decided to take a tiny nibble – just to prove to him that I did indeed loathe the velvety green dip. But I was wrong. I actually loved the stuff and immediately tossed the pricey container into our cart. 

From that day forward, I was a guacamole lover.

This Spicy Guacamole recipe is one of the best I’ve found, and certainly my favorite. Try it at your next barbecue, or heck – on a random Tuesday night. Then come back here and tell me what you think.

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Easy Fettuccine Alfredo

Craving a bowl of rich, creamy pasta? This Easy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe will impress your family with how delicious it is and impress you with how simple it was to make! I know it’s almost summer and grilling season is upon us, but I wanted to share one of our very favorite quick weeknight meals …

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Craving a bowl of rich, creamy pasta? This Easy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe will impress your family with how delicious it is and impress you with how simple it was to make!

Tongs picking up a serving of fettuccine alfredo out of a skillet

I know it’s almost summer and grilling season is upon us, but I wanted to share one of our very favorite quick weeknight meals with you.

This Easy Fettuccine Alfredo comes together with ease and is perfect on its own or topped with grilled chicken, steak or shrimp.

Serve it up with a salad and garlic breadsticks and you pretty much have weeknight dinner perfection.

Ingredients for fettuccine alfredo on a blue countertop

IS FETTUCCINE ALFREDO REALLY ITALIAN?

Let’s just get this out of the way: No, fettuccine alfredo is not an “authentic” Italian dish.

I’m a big fan of Joshua Weissman, and he has talked about how it is believed that the recipe that alfredo originates from is actually fettuccine al burro. The original uses the heat of the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water to make a creamy sauce from butter and parmesan cheese.

Alfredo sauce as we know it is a pretty Americanized dish. So no, it’s not “really” Italian…but it is really delicious. 

I’ve been making my version of this pasta for years and my family loves it. 

Whisk stirring grated parmesan cheese into alfredo sauce in a skillet

FETTUCCINE ALFREDO INGREDIENTS

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making fettuccine alfredo at home if you’ve only had it at restaurants. This easy sauce uses just a handful of ingredients:

  • Heavy cream
  • Unsalted butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pizza seasoning
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and lemon wedges, for garnish
Easy fettuccine alfredo sauce being whisked in a large skillet

Just like with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip, since this recipe has so few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients can really make a difference.

I like to use the Sartori Sarvecchio Parmesan for this recipe, but any really good parmesan will work well. 

I also really like to use the King Arthur Flour Pizza Seasoning. It’s my favorite pizza seasoning and aside from being great on anything from frozen pizza to homemade chicken bacon ranch pizza, it is an easy way to add great flavor to this sauce.

The parsley and lemon aren’t required but I highly recommend adding them at the end. They add a brightness that you really need with such a rich cream sauce.

And I know someone is going to ask if you can make this with milk instead of cream. You really do need to use cream in this recipe! (But try my Baked Macaroni and Cheese for a milk-based pasta sauce.)

Cooked fettuccine pasta in a metal colander on a blue counter

HOW TO MAKE EASY FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

Alright, let’s get to it. How do we actually make my Easy Fettuccine Alfredo?

Start by setting aside about ⅓ cup of the grated parmesan for topping the finished pasta. 

Cook the pasta in heavily salted water according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, add the cream to a deep saute pan or Dutch oven and heat it over low to medium heat. Add the butter and whisk gently until melted, then let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until it has reduced slightly.

Tongs tossing together fettuccine alfredo in a black skillet

Sprinkle in the remaining cheese and the pizza seasoning. Keep whisking until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you taste it before adding any seasoning since you’ve already added a salty cheese and the pizza seasoning!

When the pasta is done cooking, reserve about ½ cup of teh pasta water before you drain the fettuccine. Add the drained pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Add as much of the reserved pasta water as needed to thin the sauce to your liking.

Serve the fettuccine alfredo with some chopped fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon, and the reserved cheese. An extra crack of black pepper would be great, too!

Fork in a bowl of easy fettuccine alfredo set on a white counter

HOW TO REHEAT LEFTOVERS OF THIS PASTA

If you’ve ever tried to reheat creamy pasta sauces, like Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp, you might have noticed that they tend to separate and get kind of oily. 

So what do you do if you have leftovers? Keep in mind that if you zap it in the microwave, the texture won’t be what it was when the pasta was fresh.

I’d recommend reheating Easy Fettuccine Alfredo in the oven. It’ll take longer, but the sauce is more likely to stay stable this way. It still won’t be as perfect as when it’s fresh, but it’s less likely to completely split.

Fork picking up a bite of fettuccine alfredo from a white pasta bowl

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F or so. Put the pasta in a glass oven-safe dish and add a few drops of water.
  2. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Stir the pasta, recover with the foil, and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  3. If needed, add a few more drops of water during baking to keep the pasta from drying out.

The pasta should be warmed through, but give it a stir to make sure. You can always heat it for a few more minutes, covered, if needed. 

Easy fettuccine alfredo in a white pasta bowl with a fork, with a second bowl of pasta in the background

CAN YOU FREEZE ALFREDO SAUCE?

If you’re concerned about having too much alfredo sauce, you can try freezing a portion of it for later.

Just remember that it might be trickier to reheat than something like Homemade Meat Sauce would be.

I recommend freezing JUST the sauce without the fettuccine pasta. After making the sauce, let it cool and package it in zip-top freezer bags with as much air pressed out as possible. 

Freeze the alfredo sauce for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, let the sauce thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

To reheat, add the sauce to a deep saute pan and give it a good whisk. Place the pan over low heat and let it heat slowly, whisking almost constantly to bring the sauce back together. 

Cook your pasta and add it to the sauce as written in the recipe, adding a bit of the pasta cooking water as needed and garnishing with parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

Overhead view of a plate of easy fettuccine alfredo garnished with fresh parsley and lemon wedges
Tongs picking up a serving of fettuccine alfredo out of a skillet

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo

Yield: About 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Craving a bowl of rich, creamy pasta? This Easy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe will impress your family with how delicious it is and impress you with how simple it was to make!

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces dried fettuccine pasta
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature
  • 1 5.3 ounce block of parmesan cheese (I use the Sartori Sarvecchio Parmesan), finely grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pizza seasoning
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and lemon wedges, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Reserve about ⅓ cup of grated cheese.
  2. Cook the fettuccine in heavily salted boiling water per the package instructions.
  3. While the pasta cooks, heat heavy cream over low-medium heat in a deep saute pan or Dutch oven. Add butter and whisk gently to melt. Let the cream mixture simmer for a few minutes, until slightly reduced.
  4. Sprinkle in cheese and stir to incorporate. Whisk in pizza seasoning. Continue whisking until cheese is melted and sauce has thickened.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  6. When pasta has finished cooking, reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water before draining the noodles. Add the drained pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. 
  7. To serve, garnish with parsley, a squeeze of lemon, and some of the reserved cheese. 
Nutrition Information
Yield 6
Amount Per Serving Calories 687Total Fat 53gSaturated Fat 33gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 156mgSodium 732mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 16g

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Salted Caramel Brownies

This trick for making The Easiest Salted Caramel Brownies is one you’ll return to again and again! Keep these ingredients on hand for quickly throwing together brownies that everyone will love. INTRO MY FAVORITE EASY BROWNIE RECIPE I have a confession to make.  I know how great homemade brownies are. After all, I love my …

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This trick for making The Easiest Salted Caramel Brownies is one you’ll return to again and again! Keep these ingredients on hand for quickly throwing together brownies that everyone will love.

Two salted caramel brownies stacked on a white plate. The top brownie has a bite taken out of it and caramel is pooling out of the edges of the brownies

INTRO

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Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp combines butter, cream, parmesan and basil pesto to create a delightful pasta dish that’s perfect any night of the week. Do you have those recipes that you just love, but no one in your house does? That’s pretty much the case with all shrimp recipes around here. Eric and Elle …

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Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp combines butter, cream, parmesan and basil pesto to create a delightful pasta dish that’s perfect any night of the week.

Overhead view of two white bowls filled with creamy pesto pasta with shrimp, set alongside slices of baguette and bowls of parmesan cheese

Do you have those recipes that you just love, but no one in your house does? That’s pretty much the case with all shrimp recipes around here.

Eric and Elle won’t touch anything other than cocktail shrimp, but I will pretty much eat shrimp in any form. Especially when it’s served over pasta like this Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp.

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No-Bake Frozen Cheesecake

No-Bake Frozen Cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate summer. A sweet and salty crust combines with a layer of smooth cheesecake filling and fresh berries to create a delicious dessert for summer entertaining. It’s that time of year when I start thinking about simple summer recipes to share with you. As the temps heat …

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No-Bake Frozen Cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate summer. A sweet and salty crust combines with a layer of smooth cheesecake filling and fresh berries to create a delicious dessert for summer entertaining.

Slice of no-bake frozen cheesecake plated on a white plate, topped with mixed fresh berries. Additional slices of cheesecake are in the background

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about simple summer recipes to share with you.

As the temps heat up, we’re outside most of the day, so I bake a lot less than I do throughout the fall and winter months.

Even though I’m not cranking up the oven as much as I normally do, I still want to share easy, delicious recipes that are perfect for the summer months and this frozen cheesecake is all of those things.

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Cherry Crisp

Cherry Crisp is simple, quick, and delicious. Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate weeknight dessert. Last week I was tidying up our pantry and realized that I haven’t used my ice cream maker in quite some time. So I pulled it forward on the shelf, gave it a good …

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Cherry Crisp is simple, quick, and delicious. Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate weeknight dessert.

Last week I was tidying up our pantry and realized that I haven’t used my ice cream maker in quite some time. So I pulled it forward on the shelf, gave it a good wipe down and decided that I need to teach my girl how to make some homemade ice cream.

I scanned the fridge and pantry to see if we had everything on hand to whip up a simple vanilla ice cream base, but it was a no-go because I had used the rest of the cream for a delish Alfredo sauce last week.

So I totally switched gears and decided I was in the mood for a crisp – cherry crisp to be exact.

And I just so happened to have all of those ingredients on hand – complete with a pint of vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer.

No worries though, we’ll get to the homemade vanilla ice cream as soon as I pick up some more heavy cream on our next grocery trip.

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Fresh Basil Pesto

This Fresh Basil Pesto is as bright and delicious as it gets. Try it on pasta, in a sandwich, or simply with a loaf of crusty bread.  ‘Tis the season for planting our little garden around here. I usually kill everything – except mint, that stuff grows out of concrete! – but I still try for …

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This Fresh Basil Pesto is as bright and delicious as it gets. Try it on pasta, in a sandwich, or simply with a loaf of crusty bread. 

Small bowl of basil pesto surrounded by slices of baguette

‘Tis the season for planting our little garden around here. I usually kill everything – except mint, that stuff grows out of concrete! – but I still try for a small garden every year.

This year we have some tomatoes, cilantro, and basil. I always plant basil, even though the bugs usually get to it and the leaves end up full of holes. Not very pretty, but perfect for using for pesto.

Elle had never tried pesto before, but since she loves pasta I grabbed a fresh basil plant at Meijer (while we wait for ours in the garden to grow) and whipped up a batch of this homemade Fresh Basil Pesto for an easy pasta dinner.

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