Fresh Fridays, March 17

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Hold onto your shamrocks folks, today is a triple whammy of fun! It’s not just St. Patrick’s Day, it’s also the 6th anniversary of The Fresh Cooky! Six years ago today, I mustered up all my courage, took a deep breath, and hit that “publish” button.

I’m still whipping up a storm in the kitchen and thoroughly enjoying myself! So why not come along with us on a culinary adventure to Italy, where our three irresistible Italian recipes are sure to take your taste buds on a journey they’ll never forget!

And the “third whammy?” In honor of our 6th anniversary, we’ve got an epic giveaway happening this week! Are you ready for the deets? Keep on reading to find out what awesome prize I’m giving away!

Fresh Fridays Logo new 2022.

In my Life

Remember last week when I talked about having “weather whiplash“? Well, once again, typical for late winter in Colorado, it was 67° yesterday, and today I woke up to about 2 inches of snow. Our forecasters are often wrong (I want their job 😉 ), but they were spot on this time—a 37° swing in temps. So I’m back in my cozy cardi, with the fireplace going.

Crocus in fresh snow.

Still determining if it’s the time change or spring fever, but I’ve had the “mehslately. How about you? My blogging friend, Eliza, worked at our home instead of the library this week and said she was feeling the same. But, by the time she left, our spirits were lifted, and we were energized and motivated.

I’ve said it so many times here before; there is no way I want to do this life alone. I love my husband with all of my heart, besides my Lord and Savior; there is no one I love more, my boys are right in there too, less anyone think I love them any less (how is it that our hearts can keep expanding with love?) — however, I do not think I could survive without my girlfriends. Oh, how very grateful I am for my friendships!

From the Kitchen

It’s time to unleash your inner Italian Nonna! Get ready to whip up some classic Italian dishes, and remember to add that authentic Italian accent for good measure! Let’s get cookin’!

Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells

This recipe is a favorite in our family. I remember helping my mom make these when I was a kid. They look fancy but are easier than you think! Take a look!

Ever wanted to make authentic marinara sauce? Well, it’s much simpler than you imagine, and the flavor is outstanding!

Pan filled with Italian marinara sauce topped with fresh basil.

Italian Marinara Sauce

A simple five-ingredient marinara sauce using canned San Marzano tomatoes (or fresh ones), ready in about 20 minutes!

I amped up the flavor in these Stuffed Shells by adding a slight drizzle of creamy Alfredo sauce; now you can make your own Alfredo sauce in minutes.

Easy alfredo sauce recipe in jar, for storage.

Authentic Alfredo Sauce

About as close to the real deal as possible. With just four essential ingredients, you will have this silky, creamy Alfredo in a few minutes.

As long as we’re talking Italian, you have to try my Penne alla Vodka; it is my ALL-TIME favorite entertaining recipe, it looks gourmet, and yet it’s SO EASY!

What’s On Sale

  1. FOR YOU – Lately, I’ve been obsessed with cardigans because they are so effortless to layer during this transitional season. I adore a charming long cardigan with pockets, this denim shirt jacket (currently 40% off), and these comfortable, relaxed chinos.
  2. FOR THE HOME – How about jumping into spring decor with these faux flowers – tulips and my favorite ranunculus
  3. FOR THE KITCHEN – Let’s get organized; 24-piece Glass Storage Set w/ lids, countertop Food Storage jars with bamboo lids (so cute), add instant space to your pantry, and control your plastic bag overflow with this bag holder

What you are loving

You all loved this sun dress; and this oversized button-down shirt! Got mine, love it! Soft.

Anniversary Giveaway

Alright, hold onto your chef’s hat because I’ve got something to say! It’s time for a BIG thank you to all of you wonderful folks who’ve supported me and my little corner of the internet for six whole years! From real food to easy recipes, we’ve been cookin’ up a storm, and I couldn’t have done it without you! So, let’s raise a spatula and give ourselves a round of applause for a job well done!

We are giving away this convenient, versatile Ninja Foodi XL, we are currently without a grill, so it’s been great for grilling a couple of chicken breasts indoors (and it really is almost smokeless!) — Grill, Air Crisp, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate, and Broil! I love mine; I made Korean Fried Chicken Bites, Apple Crisp, and Pigs in a Blanket using a Ninja.

Ninja foodi XL open with steaks grilled on it.

How to Enter the Giveaway

Answer this question below in the comment section, What recipe(s) would you like to see this summer from TFC“?

Fine Print

For my fellow US residents (sorry to my international pals). If you want a chance to win this fabulous prize, give me a valid email address – that’s how I’ll contact you if you’re the lucky winner!

And don’t worry; the winner will be chosen randomly using a super fancy name picker. But here’s the catch – you gotta act fast! This epic giveaway ends on Monday, 3/20, at the stroke of midnight, MDT. So what are you waiting for? Get those entries in!

Weekly Inspiration

“True friendship is a sacred bond that connects souls at the deepest level. It is a divine gift that brings love, joy, and spiritual growth to both friends.”


Friendship is a blessing from above that brings joy to our lives. As it says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

True friendship is built on love, kindness, selflessness, and forgiveness. We should strive to be the kind of friend that Proverbs 27:17 describes, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

And let’s not forget the importance of laughter in our friendships, as Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” So let’s cherish our friends, encourage them, and have some fun along the way!

Reach out to a friend today; go for a walk, meet them for coffee, invite them over for some scones, write them a real note (not electronically), call a long-distance friend on that thing that you put to your ear and mouth and talk with them, you know a phone 😉

May your taste buds be forever satisfied and your kitchen be filled with delicious aromas! Remember to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the fantastic Ninja! Until next time, keep cookin’ and stay fabulous, my fellow foodies!

signature of Kathleen, The Fresh Cooky Recipe developer

P.S. If you missed last week’s Fresh Fridays, recipes, sales, tips, ideas, and more!

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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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  1. How about more grilled meat recipes, steak, chicken or pork! Loved your mint brownies and lucky charm marshmallow treats for St. Patrick’s Day! Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Kathleen,

    I would love to see some recipes using freeze-dried fruits; raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches. I freeze-dry loads of food for future use. Most items have up to 25 year shelf life. Don’t think I will be here then, but I need recipes for the here and now. The fruits are delicious as snacks, as they are, but I’m thinking cobblers, cakes, frosting, cheesecakes, etc.

  3. Love your blog and congratulations for 6 years and hope for many m, many, many more. Looking for low carb ideas for baking and meals. Would lovea good recipe using peaches since we are moving to South Carolina. They have some delicious peaches.
    Good luck to your future endeavors.

    1. Thanks Maureen, best of luck on your move, South Carolina is beautiful!! Peaches!! You’ve got it! I did several last summer you may want to check out, just search “peaches” in the search bar!

  4. Recipes? Uses/how to’s for dehydrated goodies. Just tried some dehydrated bananas from a friend and I see this grill can be used as a dehydrator! I’m also looking for pasta dishes that use less fat and cheeses in their sauces, but are still tasty!

  5. Kathleen,
    Has it already been six years?! Congratulations!! I’m just so proud of you for going after this!
    I agree with a post from Wendy; bring on some Mediterranean dishes. I returned from Spain and Portugal and love the simplicity and deliciousness of their tapas, which may be perfect for summer!

  6. I would like to see some new Mediterranean salad recipes- I had one that had couscous, tons of veggies and Kalamata olives that was so good once with like a Greek dressing – and something new light and refreshing cheesecake or cake recipes. Or An easy fondue that doesn’t seize up no matter how hard I try lol!
    Congratulations on your anniversary!

  7. Hi!!!!
    I would love for you to post a recipe for Chili Lime Chicken!
    Thank you for your site and for the opportunity to win such a wonderful kitchen appliance!
    Have a wonderful day and Happy First Day Of Spring!!

  8. Happy 6th Anniversary! I love your site and I can spend hours on here going through all your amazing recipes. For me, the summer means it’s gonna be hot and I’d like to see recipes that don’t require an oven. Grilled recipes, salads and even desserts using the fruits of the season (watermelons, blueberries, blackberries etc…) would be nice to try.
    I know you’ll come up with great ideas!! Thanks

  9. Honestly, I’ve tried many of your recipes with huge successes! Yay for me. Unfortunately hubby and I are entering our 70’s now and my biggest cooking challenge is finding tasty main dish salads. Something other than making a green salad and tossing salmon or chicken into it. That’s all well and good but secretly, I know he’d like something with a little more pizzazz in it. Keep up the amazing work. I love your site!!

  10. “What recipe(s) would you like to see this summer from TFC“?
    Would love to see some summer pie recipes. Always love a good brownie recipe – thick and chewy.
    Thanks so much for doing what you do – makes our lives so much easier.

  11. Looks like a fantastic 6 years you’ve had from looking at all the delicious recipes that are on your blog <3 I’ve just joined in the last few months and have drooled my way through, while viewing many of your recipes! I’m looking to replace my husbands store bought ranch dressing with a healthier homemade one that he won’t turn his nose up at. Picky, picky (not the nose but the tastebuds ;)) Love your godly advice on the Father, family and friends❣️Cheers to many more years!

  12. Happy anniversary! It’s tough to think of a recipe I’d like to see that you don’t have posted, your site is so great, but a graham-cracker-based cake, a simple one in an 8-inch pan, would be welcome. My Mom used to make one that I think came from a Sunbeam recipe book from the ’50s and I’d love to replicate it, and graham crackers seem to go hand in hand with cookouts.

  13. I’ve been adoring your blog since I found it over a year ago. Thank you!
    I would love to see some recipes for camping this summer. Either make ahead to store in the cooler or easy campfire meals. Family can’t live on hot dogs alone!

  14. Hello! I’d like to have a dressing for a fruit salad! Something light that would add a twist to just plain fruit! Love your site! 💗

  15. Recipes I’d like to see for summer:
    1) Fun taco ideas with new twists on summer drinks
    2) Summer salads with homemade dressing
    3) Quick and tasty BBQ recipes
    With gluten free adaptations 🙂

    Congrats on 6 years!!

  16. I would love some summer veggie recipes…grilled, sautéed, baked, and fresh veggie salads. Fruit salad recipes. I love fruit and veggies in the summer!

  17. I really wish you lived closer to Fort Collins. We’ve been here 11 1/2 yrs and I really miss my close friends in Indiana. The recipes that help me the most are your recipes that include high altitude adjustments. I’ve gotten pretty good at baking here with your helpful recipes that include high altitude information! And I have given so many people your pizza crust recipe and website, so they can enjoy your recipes, too!

  18. Hi Kathleen, this summer would love to see some low/no sugar desserts. Maybe lower carb..


    P.s. I live in Littleton and love your blog.

  19. Kathleen,
    I love your blog and have made several of your recipes. My all-time favorite is the Best Key Lime Pie!
    I would love to see your recipe this summer for gazpacho. Always a favorite for hot summer days accompanied by a hunk of crusty Italian bread.
    Blessings to you,
    Carolyn Wardell

  20. I always like easy summer desserts made with fruits. It is strawberry time for us in Fl right now and than soon blueberries in Aprril.

  21. Thank You for this wonderful giveaway opportunity.
    Not no certain recipe but would like to see some quick & easy recipes.
    Hope you have a wonderful and enjoyable weekend.

  22. Happy St Patrick’s Day! Happy FRIDAY! Happy Anniversary!

    I would LOVE to see quick, yummy recipes that take little time for preparation or clean-up! Something I can make my family whether we are at home or on the road or in our housekeeping cabin at the lake (with the whole gang!)

    Apps, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and everything in between!

    Thanks so much!