Tailgate Recipe: Antipasto Kebabs

Antipasto Kebab


Last week, I talked about my theory on dressing for tailgating and football games (cute & comfy is the way to go). But you can’t talk about tailgating without talking about the food. People really go all out when they are tailgating – grilling, breakfast for early games, catered. You name it, you can find it. There is a fine art to the perfect tailgating recipe. It needs to be easy to make and easy to transport. It also needs to be a grab and go type food, preferably that doesn’t even require silverware. It also doesn’t hurt if it is something a little substantial so it sticks with you.


And I have the perfect tailgating food! My mom has been making these antipast kebabs for years, and they are a favorite around our house. I think this is adapted from a really old Southern Living recipe. They are really easy, don’t take much time, and the fact that they are on a skewer makes them the perfect pick up and go food, no utensils required! Plus they are really filling for those long game days. And the only cooking that is required is the cooking of the tortellini. It also is a great appetizer for any party or get together.


Antipasto Kebab


I like using the white and green tortellini, so you have more of a color variety on your skewer. The brand I use is Buitoni, and I use the cheese tortellini. For the artichokes, get the quartered artichoke hearts (or you can quarter them yourself) but not the ones that are marinated.I used cube mozzarella, but provolone would be really good too!  You can use your favorite Italian dressing, but I prefer to use the Olive Garden Italian dressing. Of course, if you want to make this vegetarian, just leave off the salami (although that is this Italian girl’s favorite part!). You can add other ingredients as well – get creative! If you don’t want to make them on skewers, you can always make it as a regular pasta salad.


And here is a PDF if you want to download and print the recipe.



Recipe: The Best Meatloaf


I have a lot of food issues. I am aware of it, and I don’t have a problem admitting it. To start, I am allergic to nuts. So there are a lot of things I can’t eat, and I am a little paranoid about food, especially since I had an allergic reaction last year that put me in the hospital. I also don’t eat red meat. I used to, I just don’t any more. I have a wide array of food issues, such as I don’t like my different food to touch, I eat one thing at a time, and I can’t stand touching raw meat.


Another weird thing is that there are certain foods that I won’t eat unless it is my recipe (or my family’s recipe). One of those things is meatloaf. I have actually never ordered meatloaf in a restaurant, and I never would. If it isn’t the recipe I make, I don’t want it. My mom is the same way.


But to be fair, our recipe is really really good. I have no idea where it came from, but my mom has been making it for as long as I can remember. I know meatloaf isn’t the most glamorous food, but I promise you this recipe is really good! And a bonus – it is really easy!


So today, I am sharing our delicious meatloaf recipe. Even if you think you don’t like meatloaf, you should give it a try! This one has the perfect balance of ketchup and BBQ sauce for the sauce. It doesn’t have a lot of spices in it (other thing I am not a fan of).


The recipe calls for beef, but I use ground turkey, if you are looking for a leaner option (or are like me and don’t do red meat). Charlie is a big red meat eater (isn’t he lucky he married me?), and he loves this meatloaf and doesn’t seem to mind that it is ground turkey. In fact, I think if he put his mind to it, he could eat the whole thing on his own (or at least put a serious dent in it).




And here is a link to the downloadable PDF.



So tell me, are you a meatloaf eater? If not, are you willing to give my recipe a try?

Favorite Summer Recipes

One of my favorite parts about summer is the food! I love going to the farmer’s market and getting fresh, locally grown produce. I am like a crazy person at the market. I buy bags full of food. At some point, Charlie has to tell me that we have enough food for the neighborhood and I have to stop. There are certain recipes that I only make during the summer (like my peach cobbler). So I make sure we have our summer favorites as often as possible while we can.


These are a few of my favorite summer recipes. Some of these are on the grill, and I leave that to Charlie to take care of.




These Tuna Zucchini cakes are a favorite in our house. Technically you can just use canned tuna, but I generally get Charlie to grill a piece of fresh tuna to use for them. It makes them taste even better! I have also used leftover grilled salmon to make these, and that is good too.




We eat this zucchini, squash and tomato gratin all the time in the summer. We probably eat it every other week. It is so easy and so delicious!




This salmon and veggie recipe is super simple and also super good. Part of what makes it so good is there is so little clean up!




If you like scallops, this pan seared scallop recipe is an absolute must try. I think it is probably my favorite recipe, and I am pretty sure it is Charlie’s too. We don’t just have this in the summer, but scallops are kind of expensive, so we don’t have this often. There is a fish truck that is at our farmer’s market, and I really like to get fresh fish from them, instead of from the store.




I love grilled veggies. I could eat my weight in them. This recipe is really good, however I want to make a note here about it. The first time we made this, for some reason Charlie did the grocery shopping. And he thought he was supposed to get balsamic dressing instead of balsamic vinegar. And it was so good. I didn’t realize he had used the dressing, so when my parents made it, I couldn’t figure out why she kept saying it was just so strong. And then I talked to Charlie about what he did. Balsamic vinegar is really strong, so if you want something a little milder, go for the dressing.


What are some of your favorite summer recipes?


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Kitchen Must Haves

If you follow me on Instagram (@nikkihodum), you might notice I do a lot of cooking, especially in my stories. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Sunday afternoons are devoted to cooking (read more about my Meal Prepping here). I am not big on eating out a lot, and I like to make healthy meals at home. We are just not the “pick up fast food for dinner” kind of people, although Friday night is pizza night at our house.


Needless to say, I have a LOT of kitchen utensils, gadgets, accessories, etc. And of course I have several things I would love to buy as well. So today is a mixture of my kitchen must haves plus a few things I would really like to have in my kitchen. A lot of the stuff I have is Martha Stewart from Macy’s (from when we got married), and I really love her kitchen products!




Pot / Cutting Boards / Mixing Bowls / Olive Oil and Vinegar Set / Pasta Pot / Mixer / Muffin Pan


When we got married, I registered for two of the Martha Stewart enamel cast iron pots. I have a round one and a very large oval one. And they are both fantastic! They have held up really well, and the large oval one is really great for making big pots of soup.


I have a lot of cutting boards. I am super funny about food, especially raw meat. I don’t like to touch it, and I am super weird about obsessively cleaning after I have done anything with meat. I don’t actually use each cutting board for its purpose (like meat for the meat one), I just grab whatever is clean and available. But I do love that these are thin and easy to clean (I have an older set but it is super similar).


I can never have enough mixing bowls! I have these Martha Stewart ones (but mine are older and pastel colors), and I love them. There are several sizes, they all stack into each other, plus you can put them in the microwave and dish washer.


I use Olive Oil & Vinegar a lot. I use olive oil in some way during most of my cooking, and I always dress our salads with olive oil & red wine vinegar. So mine is always sitting out. We have a set of holders and I love that they look nice sitting out on the counters! Mine are clear, but these are super cute!


If you cook a lot of pasta like I do, this pot is a game changer. My mom got one, and then she got me one because she loved it so much. The top has holes in it so when you drain the water, you don’t have to worry about a colander or anything!


The KitchenAid mixer is one of my wishlist items. I have a mixer, but it isn’t pretty like these. I never registered for one because it was WAY too expensive. I would love to have one sitting out on my counter, but I don’t really have the counter space, anyway. But apparently you can get a pasta roller and cutter attachment for it! How cool is that?


Silicon muffin pans are also on my wish list. I have some of the mini ones, but I also want the regular size ones. I make little omelet bites for my breakfast every week, and if I don’t put them in little muffin liners, they get stuck. With the silicon ones, they come right out with very little mess.


So those are some of my kitchen essentials + 2 wishlist items. What are some of your essentials?

The Best Peach Cobbler

peach cobbler


Summer means peaches, and peaches mean PEACH COBBLER. It is our very favorite summer dessert. I make it way too often, and I do not feel bad about it. You know, you can only get peaches at the farmer’s market for so long!


I actually posted this recipe a long time ago when I first started blogging. But I thought it was time for me to share it again. It was my grandmother’s recipe. I have absolutely no idea where it came from. However, I changed it by doubling the cobbler part. After Charlie had it the first time, he requested that I make it more “bready.” And it does make it even better!


If you are saying to yourself, “I don’t like peaches,” then just hold on for a second. To be honest, I don’t like peaches either. I think it has something to do with the texture of peaches. I don’t know.But I DO like peach cobbler. I could eat my weight in this.


It is super easy, super delicious and only has 6 ingredients! Plus it only takes about 20 minutes of prep work (the longest part is boiling the peaches and peeling them), and then you just stick it in the oven.


Peach Cobbler Recipe Card


Click here to get the PDF recipe card.


If you are thinking this seems really easy, that is because IT IS! And that makes it that much more delicious. There is something about spending hours in the kitchen when it is so hot that is so unappealing. But this can be done in an afternoon. It really is the perfect summertime dessert.


Of course, this is best warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Because what is cobbler without vanilla ice cream?


Also, do you like the recipe card? You can get more by signing up for the Monthly Edit. I do a freebie each month, like recipe cards. Just sign up for emails at the bottom to get the August Edit!


Hope you enjoy!