Fresh Fridays, February 17

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Happy Friday fellow foodies!

Find a comfy chair, make a cup of tea and let’s chat! Today, I’m highlighting Mardi Gras recipes, great fish recipes for Lent, National Pancake day and a couple of brand new recipes. Those are the highlights, pop down to the Table of Contents to see even more.

In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, I thank God daily for each of you! I may not know you all by name, but God does and I am so thankful that you come back week after week.

P.S Let’s remedy not knowing you by name, introduce yourself using the comment form is at the very end of this post.

Fresh Fridays Logo new 2022.

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You only need to sign up once, unfortunately the pop up still hangs around even after you sign up, but just hit “not yet” and it will go away! Hopefully the plugin developer will change that sometime!

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Easy Mardi Gras Recipes

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is celebrated on Tuesday, February 21 this year. Surprise your family and make one or two of these easy Mardi Gras inspired recipes.

Square image of bowl filled with Instant Pot Jambalaya with chicken and sausage.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Make this flavorful jambalaya in your Instant Pot or on the stove top, either way, you should make it. It’s a recipe that was on repeat in our house as our boys were growing up!

Bowl filled with slow cooker red beans and rice with andouille sausage, ham and smoked chicken.

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Prep in the morning and let this simmer low and slow all day long in your crock pot, come home to an amazing meal!

Easy Mini King Cake Bites on a small pedestal with Mardis Gras colored sugars sprinkled around.

Mini King Cakes

Using canned crescent rolls you will have these colorful and tasty Mini King Cakes ready in minutes!

Lent Friendly Recipes

Whether you are giving up sugar, meat or just enjoying fish on Fridays, I think you’ll find something you like here!

Two halibut filets cooked on white plate with steak fries and garnished with parsley.

Buttery Halibut

Air Fryer or Oven baked, halibut is the reason I started liking fish! Pair with my easy Steak Fries for a delicious dinner.

Raspberry Salmon square image with filet of salmon and a raspberry glaze on top.

Raspberry Glazed Salmon

Perfectly cooked in minutes in your oven. This salmon recipe is full of flavor. Pair with this air fryer asparagus.

Panko Parmesan Baked Cod recipe plated with a drizzle of lemon garlic butter and a mound of fragrant basmati rice.

Panko Crusted Cod

Another melt in your mouth fish dinner, that’s ready in minutes; pair with these crispy brussels sprouts.

Tasty Vegetarian and Refined Sugar-free Recipes

creamy bow tie pasta recipe with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms in large bowls with spoon.

Bow-Tie Pasta | A Creamy Pasta Recipe

A restaurant quality pasta dinner; creamy, loaded with flavor and ready in about 20 minutes. This light and creamy Bow Tie Pasta recipe is easy enough for everyday, elegant enough for company.

Creamy Homemade Smoked Mac and Cheese square image.

Smoked Mac and Cheese

Creamy Smoked Mac and Cheese has a twist on the familiar favorite. Everyone loves this ridiculously good smoked mac and cheese! And guess what, you do not need a smoker to make this cheesy homemade mac and cheese, although I’ve included smoker directions.

Panera Bread 10 Vegetable Soup in bread bowl.

10 Vegetable Soup Recipe

Panera Bread 10 Vegetable soup recipe is a healthy meal. This vegetarian soup is loaded with a variety of fresh vegetables and hearty grains, easily make gluten-free!

Image of stoneplate with 4 healthy gluten free breakfast cookies with almonds, cranberries and chocolate chip on plate, natural linen napkin under the plate.

Healthy Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies

No refined sugar in these chewy cookie! One bowl recipe loaded with good for you ingredients like banana, pumpkin, oats, almond butter, nuts, cranberries and dark chocolate chips.

Loaf of healthy chocolate chip banana bread in parchment paper on cooling rack.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Sweetened with maple syrup and ripe bananas, this recipe for Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread cuts the refined sugar and gluten without losing the delicious homemade taste. The recipe makes either bread or healthy banana chocolate chip muffins and is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and Paleo friendly. 

Sliced loaf of strawberry bread on pretty platter with fresh strawberries.

Healthy Strawberry Bread

Healthy strawberry bread is packed with fresh strawberries and made a bit healthier with gluten free almond and oat flours, sweetened with maple syrup (refined sugar free) and moist using yogurt (regular or plant based). A high protein breakfast or snack!

In My Life

Did you watch the Super Bowl? While I am not an avid football fan, I was hooked, what an exciting and well-matched game it was!

We had some friends over and I whipped together a quick pizza using my easy no rise pizza dough and this flavorful pizza sauce. Unfortunately, our oven still isn’t working, new parts have been ordered. I am so thankful for my counter-top oven, it makes short work of pizza and it’s so good!

On Saturday we went to a friends house, they hosted a “we’ve been married forever non-Valentine’s day” party. We played the Newlywed game and enjoyed great food together, I brought my Tiramisu. It was such a fun idea!

My friend Aubyn is one of the most generous people I know! Not only was there a prize for who won the game, but each couple walked out with a gorgeous flower arrangement. Local peeps – these gorgeous arrangements are from Happy Canyon Flowers!

P.S. This coffee table book would be a beautiful gift for Easter or Mother’s day, especially for those who love to host!

Gorgeous floral arrangement from Happy Canyon Floral.

Last week I mentioned that my husband and I usually don’t go out for Valentine’s day — well much to my surprise on Monday night he says, “by the way, I made reservations for dinner tomorrow night.” We had a lovely evening talking, holding hands, wearing our comfy clothes – we need to do that more often.

Me and Brad at local restaurant for Valentine's day.
Me and my sweetheart!

What I’ve Been Cooking

New this week on the blog! As we crawl towards spring, I start to crave lighter foods! How about you?

Classic Southern tuna salad on butter lettuce with grapes and tomato slices.

Southern Tuna Salad

See what makes this Tuna salad southern! A low-carb lunch or dinner, so many ways to serve, including as tuna melts!

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

A recipe that is so flavorful and tasty! Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free!

National Pancake Day!

National pancake day is Tuesday, February 21! And to celebrate I will have a brand new pancake recipe on Monday!

Easy breakfast pancake and waffle charcuterie board.

How to Make a Pancake Breakfast Charcuterie Board

This Pancake Charcuterie Board is a fun way to serve all the deliciousness of your favorite breakfast foods in a beautiful and creative way. Fresh fruit, fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon are just the beginning. Gather your favorite toppings and pass the syrup!

Blueberry Pancake Bundt Cake Recipe with cake frosted and on pedestal with slice removed and on plate.

Blueberry Pancake Bundt Cake Recipe

Snuggle up with a steamy cup of coffee and this warm, moist Blueberry Pancake Bundt Cake made with fresh juicy blueberries, pancake mix, creamy buttermilk, zesty lemon, and a touch of cinnamon. Bonus — it's low sugar!

Dutch Baby Oven Pancake | www.thefreshcooky.com

Dutch Baby {Oven Baked Pancake}

Dutch Babies or German pancakes are an egg-y, crepe like pancake! Oven baked to huge, fluffy, light pancake perfection! Served with melted butter, a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of powdered sugar. 

What’s on Sale & What I am Loving

Weekly Inspiration

This devotional from Our Daily Bread for Thursday was so good — how will you reflect the light of Christ to others this week?

“To capture the beauty of reflective light in his landscape oil paintings, artist Armand Cabrera works with a key artistic principle: “Reflected light is never as strong as its source light.” He observes that novice painters tend to exaggerate reflected light. He says, “Reflected light belongs to the shadow and as such it must support, not compete with the lighted areas of your painting.”

We hear similar insight in the Bible concerning Jesus as “the light of all mankind” (John 1:4). John the Baptist “came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe” (v. 7). The gospel writer tells us, “He himself [John] was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light” (v. 8).

As with John, we’re chosen by God to reflect Christ’s light to those living in the shadows of an unbelieving world. This is our role, as one source says, “perhaps because unbelievers are not able to bear the full blazing glory of His light firsthand.”

Cabrera teaches his art students that “anything that has direct light falling on it in a scene becomes a source of light itself.” Similarly, with Jesus as “the true light that gives light to everyone” (v. 9), we can shine as witnesses. As we reflect Him, may the world be amazed to see His glory shine through us.”

By:  Patricia RaybonOur Daily Bread

May your week be filled with light and hope and may you reflect that onto others in grace, mercy, compassion and peace.

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Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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