Tomato Galette

Tomato Galette ~ sweet summer tomatoes baked with tangy goat cheese, fresh basil and thyme wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust.

Dinner | August 2, 2018 | By

Tomato Galette ~ sweet summer tomatoes baked with tangy goat cheese, fresh basil and thyme wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust.

If I were cooking for the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond I’d make this Tomato Galette. It’s simple, rustic and as down to earth as she is. You could add a salad if you’d like, but Ree and I would need nothing more with it than a glass or two of sangria.   

I met the Pioneer Woman at a food blog conference a couple of years ago and even though I’m pretty sure she doesn’t remember me or our 45 second conversation I remember her warmth and that she’s actually as beautiful as she is on TV. In fact, I imagine us BFF’s, sitting on her wrap around porch, sharing recipes, food blogger war stories and of course, this Tomato Galette.

Later we’d catch one of the gorgeous sunsets I’ve seen in photos on her blog. A girl can dream, right? But the fact remains that if we ever met up on her ranch, we’d be eating something as perfectly imperfect as this Tomato Galette because that’s the kind of BFF’s I imagine we’d be.


Easy Fried Ice Cream Cake

Easy Fried Ice Cream Cake ~ vanilla ice cream with a crispy honey-cinnamon coating drizzled with fudge and topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Dessert | July 25, 2018 | By

Easy Fried Ice Cream Cake ~ vanilla ice cream with a crispy honey-cinnamon “fried” coating drizzled with fudge and caramel then topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

We love ice cream in the summer . . . and by summer I mean all year long. Cold temps, snow on the ground ~ we still eat ice cream. We’re those people. 

That’s just one reason this Easy Fried Ice Cream Cake makes the perfect summer – or anytime – dessert. But can I let you in on a secret? I’ve never actually tasted Fried Ice Cream in a restaurant. By the time I’ve munched on chips and salsa, guacamole and more chips and some sort of spicy, melted cheese Mexican concoction plus rice and beans ~ I’m stuffed!

So when our daughter requested a Mexican theme for her birthday dinner, I jumped at a chance to actually eat Easy Fried Ice Cream Cake and discovered the answer to the No Room for Dessert dilemma is to make it at home. That way you really can have your cake and eat it too.


Grilled Peach Caprese

Grilled Peach Caprese ~ grilled sweet peaches, summer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella or burrata, salty prosciutto, basil and balsamic reduction.

Grilled Peach Caprese ~ grilled sweet peaches, summer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella or burrata, salty prosciutto, basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. A delicious update to a classic.  

I originally published this recipe in 2015 as one of my first recipes, so if you’ve been following since then maybe you remember it and notice a couple of changes; maybe you’ve even made this recipe. If not, for the love of summer, add it to the top of your list.  

This salad needed better photos that show how much I love this recipe. I love it in the way Oprah expressed her love of bread in the Weight Watcher commercials and because of that, I want you to love Grilled Peach Caprese, too.

Don’t ask me why ~ I guess it’s (another) one of my crazy quirks, but in my *humble* opinion this salad begs to be eaten outside. Maybe it’s the combination of summer tomatoes, sweet peaches made even sweeter by grilling, fresh mozzarella or my new fixation burrata, basil, some salty prosciutto, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Whatever the reason, grab of glass (or bottle) of your favorite wine, head outside to the patio and enjoy some of summer’s finest. 


Healthy Taco Salad

Healthy Taco Salad ~ greens + chipotle seasoned ground meat, beans, avocado, corn, tomatoes & cheese + a 5 ingredient salsa verde Greek yogurt dressing.

Dinner | July 11, 2018 | By

Healthy Taco Salad ~ lettuce, chipotle seasoned ground meat, black beans, creamy avocado, sweet corn, fresh diced tomatoes, bell pepper and sharp cheddar cheese plus a simple 5-ingredient Salsa Verde Greek Yogurt Dressing.

When my youngest daughter was in elementary school her two favorite lunchroom meals were Popcorn Shrimp and Walking Tacos.

Popcorn Shrimp was the tiniest shrimp you could imagine with a thick breading, fried and served with ketchup. The Walking Taco started with a mini bag of Fritos topped with seasoned ground beef and the sort of warm, gooey “cheese” that requires air quotes to describe. The whole meal was served inside the actual Fritos bag. 

I’ll admit, letting her buy these meals didn’t earn me Mother of the Year Award but overall, she was a healthy eater, loved fruit and would try most foods. She’s still the same way and since this Healthy Taco Salad is her brainchild I think Walking Tacos days are behind her.

The salad dressing recipe is my own creation ~ an accomplishment for someone whose best salad recipe before this one involves potatoes and full fat mayonnaise and you guys, this dressing is good.  

Healthy Taco Salad hits every flavor note from the crispy lettuce to the tangy, Salsa Verde Greek Yogurt dressing and everything in between.


Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad ~ 3-cheese tortellini + fresh veggies, roasted red peppers, olives and feta tossed in a simple homemade Greek dressing.

Side Dish | June 30, 2018 | By

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad ~ three cheese tortellini blended with fresh vegetables, roasted red peppers, olives and feta, tossed in a simple homemade Greek dressing.

My daughter reminded me recently that even though I don’t need an excuse to eat Pickled Red Onions right out of the jar, there are many people that would actually like to put them in something ~ like this Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad.

If you haven’t made them yet (whyyyy?) you can still make this salad with great results using sliced red onions. But if you happen to have the few ingredients the pickled onions call for and a Mason jar . . . swoon.

Of course this salad isn’t all about the onions. It all starts with tortellini ~ tender bite size pasta pillows filled with three kinds of cheese and combined with fresh summer veggies in a simple homemade Greek Dressing. Give it a try. The combination of flavors is unbelievably good. 


Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad

Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad: slightly sweet, mostly spicy grilled shrimp + corn-avocado salad with a simple 3 ingredient cilantro-lime dressing.

Dinner | June 24, 2018 | By

Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad ~ slightly sweet, mostly spicy grilled shrimp plus a sweet corn-avocado salad with a simple 3-ingredient tangy cilantro-lime dressing that pairs perfectly with the sweet corn. Make both the shrimp and salad ~ or either ~ for a great summer dinner, appetizer or light lunch.

Do you remember your hairstyle from the 80’s? Mine involved big hair and lots of spray to achieve the look. I *may* have even carried that look and my giant can of hairspray into the 90’s.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this talk of hair so here it is: not only do hairstyles need updating, but blog posts, too. I didn’t write the original Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad recipe as long ago as the 80’s, but you’ll have to trust me when I say while the recipe remains rock solid and unchanged, the photos were in desperate need of a refresh. 


Butter Chicken Recipe

butter chicken recipe ~ overhead photo of yellow tumeric indian style rice topped with creamy butter chicken. serve with any rice or naan bread

Dinner | June 16, 2018 | By

This Butter Chicken Recipe is creamy, loaded with flavor and simple to make all in one pan. Serve it up with a side of rice, a simple Chickpea Tomato Salad or just some warm naan bread.

What a surprise it was to hear about Anthony Bourdain’s death ~ famed chef, world traveler, TV celebrity and master storyteller who told it like it was with phrases like “ass-burning Szechuan”. A man who seemed to have the world by the tail took his own life leaving much behind, beginning with why.

Like many, I enjoyed watching him explore food and places in the world I may never experience on his show Parts Unknown. He inspired a generation of foodies to travel and step out of their comfort zone in the kitchen, create dishes that bring joy and speak love to their families and sometimes even transport them to places around the world. 


Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe

Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe ~ overhead view of pickles in the open jars and fresh dill.

Side Dish | June 6, 2018 | By

Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe ~ loaded with garlic and dill flavors; prepped and in the fridge in 5 minutes without the canning process.

I’m kind of on a pickling craze right now, starting with Pickled Red Onions that I’ve been putting on practically everything ~ or nothing ~ even a fork full right out of the jar into my mouth.

I’ve made quite a few batches, passing them along to my kids (ahem. . .my jars?) because not only are they really good, but making them is ridiculously simple, like things should be in the summertime. So I decided to give pickles a try too ~ tangy, puckery dill pickles.

There are always a few different jars of pickles in my refrigerator but with this Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe, buying them premade made become a thing of the past. 


Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail

This Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CelebratorySips #SipSparkleShine #CollectiveBias

watermelon sparkling wine cocktail ~ made with fresh watermelon juice and chandelier sparkling wine

It’s the same every year here in the Midwest. Cool, rainy bone-chilling spring days and just when we think they’ll never end ~ it’s as though someone flips a switch and suddenly, it’s hot. Flip flop wearing, turn on the air conditioning NOW ~ hot. The days I spent curled under a blanket with a good book are forgotten.

The temperature change triggers something in my husband’s brain too that says all meals should be grilled. It’s a man vs. fire thing that I can’t argue with. But he gets to show off his mad grilling skills while I contribute an equally good, celebratory cocktail because after all, we not only survived spring, but a brutal winter, too.


Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs ~ marinated chicken, bright colored bell peppers and red onions skewered then grilled to golden, garnished with lemon wedges and served with pita bread.

Dinner | May 12, 2018 | By

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs ~ lemon, garlic, oregano, olive oil ~ simple ingredients marinated with boneless chicken breasts and grilled for delicious Greek style flavor.

These kabobs kick off grilling season for us and are on repeat all summer. Sunshine, skewered food, more time outdoors and a delicious meal on a stick that’s a must-make. The simple, Greek-style ingredients in the marinade lock in the really robust flavor. The whole meal can be on the table without ever touching a skillet. Game on.