About Melissa Young

A Little about me: Meeting new people and learning new things is always exciting. I thought it might be helpful for you to know a little more about me. My name is Melissa Young and I am the new Manager of Client Services. I have my MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. In my spare time I enjoy playing golf and tennis, cooking and spending time with my family and friends.

Cinnamon Apples

What a perfect side dish to make in September!  Maybe you could even go apple picking.

These Cinnamon Apples are a quick and a terrific way to add a fruit to your table this fall season. Great to top on ice cream, waffles, and granola.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 5 Medium apples peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet melt butter.
  2. Add in medium apples and coat with butter.
  3. Sprinkle in the sugar and cinnamon and stir.

Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until the apples become soft.

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I love fall baking. This cake is made with pumpkin puree and lots of spices. I also added in sour cream to add a bit more flavor and moistness to the coffee cake.

Adding streusel kicks it up a notch and tastes so delicious. This recipe will satisfy your cravings for fall while also making your kitchen smell amazing. Hands down scrumptious!

Ingredients

For the streusel:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the streusel:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly.

Make the cake:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, oil, sour cream, applesauce, and eggs. Mix well.
  3. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spread the remaining batter over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining streusel.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Happy Baking

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Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds are a great way to use delicious summer zucchini! I have a gardening plot in my hometown community garden and my zucchini are thriving. 

This simple side dish is quick and easy and requires only 2 ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized zucchinis.
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional.

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack in center position of oven. Preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray like PAM.
  2. Wash and dry zucchini and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange zucchini rounds on prepared pan, with little to no space between them. If desired, lightly sprinkle zucchini with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use a small spoon to spread a thin layer of Parmesan cheese on each slice of zucchini.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until Parmesan turns a light golden brown.   Serve immediately.
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7-Up Cake Recipe

This 7-Up cake recipe is a moist lemon flavored cake that is made with a simple yellow boxed cake mix and topped with a delicious lemon icing.  I think this classic, vintage cake recipe is a summer favorite and is sure to please.

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 4 oz small box instant lemon pudding
  • 1 cup 7-Up soda or lemon lime soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the cake ingredients (cake mix, pudding, 7up, eggs and oil).
  3. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour batter into bundt pan.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool completely, then remove from bundt pan.

Icing:

  1.  In a small bowl combine confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice.
  2.  Add milk in slowly until you have reached desired consistency.
  3. Pour icing over cooled cake and serve.

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Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheddar

I am excited to spend Spring preparing delicious salads for my family. I serve salads as a side dish most of the time but have been known to eat this salad as my main meal. It can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator but never lasts that long in my house. 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup bacon cooked and crumbled.
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds.
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped.

For the dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise.
  • 1/4 cup sweetener of choice.
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the broccoli, bacon, almonds, cheddar, and onion to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sweetener, white vinegar, salt and pepper together.
  3. Add the mayonnaise salad dressing mixture to the broccoli salad and toss to combine. Coat evenly.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour, and then serve.

Enjoy.

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Lemon Blueberry Bread

Hello Spring! And hello delicious Lemon Blueberry Bread! Blueberries are in season and are easy to find these days at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. This healthier option bread is simple to make and is packed with flavor. Perfect for a warm and sunny day.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
  • ¾ cup blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon flour for coating blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl add Greek yogurt, honey, coconut oil, eggs and lemon juice and mix well.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until mixed through.
  5. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with flour to prevent them from sinking into the loaf. Gently fold into the batter along with the lemon zest.
  6. Transfer to greased loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7.  Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.
Lemon Blueberry Bread
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Purpose in Life

This famous quote, “The purpose of life is a life with purpose” resonates with me.  I often stop and think about my purpose in life.  I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, wife, caretaker, and a social worker.  As I reflect on my purpose, I have come to learn that I enjoy helping others.  Working for MSAA offers me the opportunity to help the MS community.  I hope to provide a safe place for many to call in for help and to find support.  I feel a great sense of pride knowing I can help and navigate others through uncharted waters in a time of need.

So, my question to you is: What is your purpose?  Is it maybe being a friend, maybe being a spouse, or maybe simply it is doing things that bring you happiness?  Sometimes finding the answer is easy, and sometimes it takes time to see where we are appreciated most. If you are struggling to answer this question, do not be afraid to turn to others for guidance and friendly suggestions. Those around you often see the gifts that you exhibit to them that you may not recognize in yourself. This could help you to understand what your purpose is and how to make the best of it.

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Garlic Butter Mushrooms

I was never a fan of mushrooms until I started making this recipe.  I can tell you honestly, I pop them in my mouth like candy. 

These sauteed mushrooms only need a handful of ingredients and are easy to make.  If you are looking for a flavorful side dish to impress your taste buds, this recipe is for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound button mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed/minced
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large frying pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add mushrooms to pan and mix to coat them in the butter/oil mixture.
  3. Cook mushrooms for about to 8 minutes without moving.
  4. Flip the mushrooms over one by one and then let them cook for another 8 minutes.
  5. Add crushed garlic and parsley to pan, mix to coat and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
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Tasty and Healthy Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Parfaits are a great choice for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack. You can prepare them in advance or make them quickly and easily when needed. Parfaits include yogurt layered with fruit of your choice and granola.

With the new year upon us, I know many of you are trying to start it off right by creating some healthy meal prep options. Why not give this easy yogurt parfait recipe a try! Continue reading

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Eggnog Hot Chocolate – Recipe of the Month

It’s that time of year to snuggle up next to a warm fire or a loved one, especially if you’re sipping this Eggnog Hot Chocolate recipe.

This recipe will hopefully help get you in the spirit of the holiday season. After the year we’ve had, shouldn’t we indulge ourselves a little.

Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2021. Continue reading

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