Mini Coconut Cream Pies

Mini Coconut Cream Pies with a double dosing of shredded coconut. .  because you can never have too much coconut.

Recently, I was reading one of my favorite blogs and started thinking about what my life would be like if I weren’t working from home. If I had never quit my full-time job and became a food blogger and still had an office job in advertising. Let me re-phrase that.  . quit my high stress, working crazy long hours with some crazy, demanding clients, but job that I loved, job.

What would my life be like if I were still working and couldn’t be home with my kids? Would I like it better? Would I be more stressed out? Would my kids be better off?

Mini Coconut Cream Pies with a double dosing of shredded coconut. .  because you can never have too much coconut.

I have to trust that things happened for a reason and even though sometimes I feel like it’s harder to work from home because there’s really no separation of work and home and that hopefully one day I will look back and know that this is how my kids were supposed to grow up.

With me being here when they get home from school. With me being able to schlep them all around Madison when they have horse back riding camp and are carpooling with two other kids. With me being able to volunteer in their classrooms and attend class field trips.

Some days I hate it. I hate being home. .  because work is work and work can be stressful sometimes and I can’t always drop everything to play Barbies with them when they want me to.

But on a day this week when we got back from the library and were able to sit outside with my neighbor and admire her garden and just chitchat and not have to worry about anything and coming back into the house to get dinner ready. .  and pinning the kids’ summer reading program charts (that we had just picked up from the library) to our bulletin board and hearing Phoebe reading a book to Madeline as I was making dinner, made me realize how grateful I am to be home with my kids. 

Sure, I’ll always have days where I’m stressed out and the kids are driving me crazy and I’ll want to toss them out the window but hopefully there will be more days where I’ll just want to hug and kiss them and hold them tight.

Because they are my people. They are my children. They are a reflection of me and my husband, Paul.

We’re here today to celebrate my dear friend, Zainab. She’s having a baby boy and I am so happy for her. Like, so happy I could cry every time I think about the miracle of childbirth, holding your baby for the first time, knowing your baby’s smell and watching them sleep for hours.

Bringing a little person into this world is life changing and people aren’t joking around when they say “your life will never be the same.”

For Zainab and Justin, my wish is that their lives only get better, stronger and filled with more love. And for her baby boy, who I’m sure will give Zainab the easiest childbirth ever and be the best baby ever . . you are so lucky little one. You have parents who are going to love you. Love you no matter what. So be good to them. They are your family.

Zainab loves coconut so I thought mini coconut cream pies were in order. And ok, yes, I kind of overdid it with the shredded coconut. I couldn’t help myself.

Mini Coconut Cream Pies with a double dosing of shredded coconut. .  because you can never have too much coconut.

Because I love coconut too.

Mini Coconut Cream Pies with a double dosing of shredded coconut. .  because you can never have too much coconut.

This fabulous coconut custard recipe comes from Allie from Baking A Moment. .  she was my consultant on this recipe. .  I chilled my coconut custard and then filled my mini springform pans and then froze them overnight so they would hold their shape. The freezing overnight probably wasn’t necessary but I wanted to ensure these babies would hold up for their photo shoot.

Mini Coconut Cream Pies with a double dosing of shredded coconut. .  because you can never have too much coconut.

Mini Coconut Cream Pies
 
I used almost 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut but you can use 1 cup if desired.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
For the coconut custard:
  • 1½ cups coconut milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
For the crust:
  • 5 or 6 graham crackers, broken into large pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
For the topping:
  • fresh whipped cream
  • blueberries

Instructions
For the coconut custard:
  1. Using a small pot, heat the coconut milk over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  2. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly pour the hot coconut milk over the egg mixture, while whisking continuously.
  3. Place the mixture back into the pot and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and becomes very thick.
  4. Transfer to a heat safe container and let cool slightly. Mix in the shredded coconut and the coconut extract. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
For the crust:
  1. Using your food processor, pulse together the graham crackers, flaxseed meal and butter until the mixture comes together and resembles coarse, wet sand.
To assemble:
  1. Using your greased, prepped mini springform pans, lay in the crust and press down to fill up the bottom of the pans. Top with the coconut custard mixture and place into your freezer overnight. When ready to serve, leave out at room temp and when the pies have reached the desired temperature, top with fresh whipped cream and blueberries and enjoy!

Coconut custard recipe from Baking A Moment

 

Blahnik Shower Graphic {final}-1

Zainab, we love you so much and wish you, Justin and baby the BEST!!!! Enjoy today and your virtual baby shower!!!

Blackberry Coconut Cupcakes, by Baking a Moment
Blueberry Coconut Meusli Bars, by The Spiffy Cookie
Blueberry-Ginger Coconut Cheesecake Popsicles, by Floating Kitchen
Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars, by Eats Well with Others
Chocolate Coconut Cake, by Brunch with Joy
Coconut Breakfast Pudding with Sauteed Nectarines, by Cooking and Beer
Coconut Cake, by I am Baker
Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream, by The Recipe Rebel
Coconut Energy Bites, by The Kitchenarium
Coconut Key Lime Angel Food Cake Roll, by Flavor the Moments
Coconut Key Lime Pie Cookie Bars, by Two in the Kitchen
Coconut Key Lime Macarons, by Life Made Sweeter
Coconut, Lime, and White Chocolate Milkshake, by A Clean Bake
Coconut Pineapple Banana Smoothie, by The Bitter Side of Sweet
Coconut Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp, by Healthy Nibbles and Bits
Coconut Sweet Potato Muffins, by Luci’s Morsels
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Coconut, by The Cooking Actress
Key Lime Coconut Button Sandwich Cookies, by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Key Lime Coconut Pound Cake, by Grandbaby Cakes
Lavender Coconut Macarons, by Broma Bakery
Macaroon Tarts with Ginger Coconut Whipped Cream and Pineapple, by A Cookie Named Desire
Mango Coconut Donuts, by Chez Catey Lou
Mango Coconut Smoothie, by Jessica in the Kitchen
Mango Summer Cake, by Keep it Sweet Desserts
Mini Coconut Cream Pies, by Hip Foodie Mom
Pina Colada Pie, by Life, Love, and Sugar
Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones, by Club Narwhal
Spiced Lentils with Toasted Coconut, by This Gal Cooks
Toasted Coconut Banana Meringue Pie, by The Sweet {Tooth} Life
Triple Coconut Rum Layer Cake, by bethcakes
Tropical Pineapple Coconut Sangria, by Shared Appetite
White Chocolate Coconut Key Lime Cookies, by Culinary Couture

 

 

Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger + A Giveaway!

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

It’s Monday! And I’m firing up the grill. .  again.

But this time, for something different . .

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

If there’s one thing the blogging, being immersed in food and this Whole30 thing has taught me, it’s this.

Let’s celebrate and eat vegetables. Seasonal Vegetables!

This is my go-to guide for knowing what’s in season and when. And it’s a no brainer if you ask me. .  because when fruits and veggies are in season, they are at their best as far as taste and freshness AND they are not as expensive. I love the summers when berries are in season and you can buy the best looking berries, peaches and vegetables and not break the bank! I heavy up on lots of eggplant and zucchini in the summer. And I look at veggies in a whole new light now.

And since I can’t eat bread.  . this had to happen.

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

Pretty damn good you guys.

I grilled my eggplant because I love seeing the grill marks. But you can also bake them too.

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

And to make this burger even better. .  I used Maille’s NEW Toasted Onion and Wild Thyme mustard.

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

You guys. .  this is more than mustard. .  this is an event. An event for your burger. It has slow cooked onions and wild thyme .  . like there are bits of slow cooked onions in the mustard. It’s beyond delicious! 

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

And there’s more!!!

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

Check out the entire new summer collection online here. “Bistros are back on the foodie agenda this year with a wave of Michelin-starred chefs recognizing the simple pleasures of bistro-style cooking. By harnessing and recombining authentic bistro flavors, Maille is refreshing classic French traditions. The result is an exciting trio of mustards to compliment the tastes of summer and the casual chic spirit of the South of France.” 

These would be perfect for any summer cookout! You need to try these! And enter for your chance to win them down below!

Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

If you don’t have a grill, you can roast the sliced eggplant with some extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the eggplant buns:
  • 1 medium to large sized eggplant, sliced into ¾ inch thick rounds
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
For the burger:
  • 4 lean organic, grass-fed ground beef patties, grilled or cooked
  • sautéed mushrooms, sliced
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • dijon mustard
  • ketchup
  • any other condiments as desired

Instructions
For the eggplant buns:
  1. Heat up your grill. Brush each eggplant round with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill each eggplant round over medium-high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes or until grill marks appear and the eggplant is heated through and slightly softened. Repeat on opposite side but only grill for about 3 to 4 minutes.
For the burger:
  1. To assemble: Spread on dijon mustard on one eggplant round, top with the cooked beef patty, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and add any other condiments as desired and top with another grilled eggplant “bun” round and serve.

Recipe inspired by the eggplant buns recipe in The Whole30 book.

Toss that bread bun and try this Grilled Eggplant Bun Burger!!! Low carb, delicious and perfect for summer!  #lowcarb #paleo #eggplantrecipe

 

The Giveaway!!

Giveaway open to residents within the United States only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The products above were provided to me for recipe testing and sampling. The giveaway is sponsored by Maille US. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower

Delicious Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower! If you’ve never tried mashed cauliflower, you need to try this recipe! So EASY to make! Low carb, Whole30 and Paleo diet approved! #lowcarb #whole30 #paleo

Slow cooker in the summer? Do you guys do this?

I know we immediately associate using our slow cookers in the fall and winter but do you use yours in the summer too? The summers are probably when I’m running around the most. . hauling the kids back and forth from summer camps and other stuff. I mean, I understand not using it if you don’t have A/C in the house or on a really hot day but otherwise, you guys, the slow cooker rocks in the summer too!!

I made this recipe on a day where we had a million and one things to do, seared my pork shoulder and put it in my slow cooker, along with the dried herbs, garlic, seasonings and crushed tomato sauce (that’s it! this recipe is Whole30 approved) and when dinner time came around, we were ready to roll. .  and my kitchen smelled amazing. I’ve since used my slow cooker to make this (you’ve got to check out Cheryl’s recipe!) and this for my family.

Delicious Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower! If you’ve never tried mashed cauliflower, you need to try this recipe! So EASY to make! Low carb, Whole30 and Paleo diet approved! #lowcarb #whole30 #paleo

A dish like this makes the remaining 16 days doable. #whole30 #itsstillhardashell #stayingfocused

And I have to stop and talk about this mashed cauliflower for a moment. Cauliflower mash, cauliflower purée, mashed cauliflower.   call it what you want. And if you follow the Paleo diet, this is nothing new. But a few of my ingredients might be?

Delicious Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower! If you’ve never tried mashed cauliflower, you need to try this recipe! So EASY to make! Low carb, Whole30 and Paleo diet approved! #lowcarb #whole30 #paleo

All you need is a food processor. And you let that thing run until the cauliflower is smooth. Looks delicious, right?!

Delicious Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower! If you’ve never tried mashed cauliflower, you need to try this recipe! So EASY to make! Low carb, Whole30 and Paleo diet approved! #lowcarb #whole30 #paleo

This mashed cauliflower is a great, tasty and lighter alternative to mashed potatoes. I roasted my cauliflower first but you can also steam the cauliflower, rather than boil it. Steaming works better than boiling for this purée because boiling leaches flavor and some nutrients out of the cauliflower. So, don’t boil your cauliflower!

Delicious Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower! If you’ve never tried mashed cauliflower, you need to try this recipe! So EASY to make! Low carb, Whole30 and Paleo diet approved! #lowcarb #whole30 #paleo

Enjoy. .  I’m off to see what else I can purée!! And I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning to attend Eat Write Retreat. .  follow along on social media and IG if you’re interested!

And you have to try this recipe! Have you had mashed cauliflower before and have a fabulous recipe? If so, please share below!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Mashed Cauliflower
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

For the cook: Prep and start cooking the pork in the morning and about 30 to 40 minutes before serving, make the mashed cauliflower.
Author:
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
For the pork:
  • 1 to 2 lbs. pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper + more for the slow cooker
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
For the mashed cauliflower:
  • 1 medium to large sized cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter) + more if needed
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves; minced
  • fresh chives, finely chopped

Instructions
For the pork:
  1. Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Using a large sized pan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and after a minute or so, sear the pork on one side. After a few minutes, flip and sear the other side until nicely browned. Remove from the pan and place into your slow cooker.
  2. Add in the minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, dried thyme, oregano and parsley. Season with more salt and pepper. Mix together and ensure that all of the pork is covered completely by the tomato sauce. Add a bit more if needed.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for at least 5 to 6 hours. The pork should easily break apart with forks.
For the mashed cauliflower:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Using a parchment paper covered baking sheet, toss on the cauliflower florets and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes. You just want the cauliflower roasted and softened but not browned too much.
  2. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Place the roasted cauliflower into your food processor, along with the almond milk, ghee, minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until completely smooth. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  3. To serve: top the mashed cauliflower with the pulled pork and some sauce and top with some fresh chives. Enjoy while hot.

Delicious Slow Cooker Pork with Mashed Cauliflower! If you’ve never tried mashed cauliflower, you need to try this recipe! So EASY to make! Low carb, Whole30 and Paleo diet approved! #lowcarb #whole30 #paleo

 

Light Asian Noodle Salad

Light Asian Soba Noodle Salad! Colorful and fresh bell peppers with chewy soba noodles, edamame and a life changing creamy almond butter sauce! So easy and quick! #healthy #vegan #soba #sobanoodles #spon

(This post has been edited).

The phone call you never want to get. This happened last Wednesday night.

“Hello, is this Alice?” “Yes.. ” “OK, first off, your husband is okay. .  but he’s been in a really bad car accident. I just saw the entire thing happen and I am here with him now. I’m giving the phone to him.”

Me: “What?!!!”

My husband was driving home last Wednesday and was like 3 minutes away from our house and was involved in a bad car accident and was taken away from the scene of the accident in an ambulance to the ER.

I immediately call my friends and they tell me they are coming over to watch the girls so I can go to the ER. As I am driving there, I call my sister and sister-in-law to let them know what happened. I can’t call my mother because she will worry and freak out. And when I hear my sister-in-law, Renee’s, voice, I immediately break down and start crying. “Paul got into a car accident. I’m on my way to the hospital now.”

And she starts crying and calls her husband, Paul’s oldest brother. I get there. .  they take me to the ER and to the room where he is and Paul is strapped to a gurney, in a neck brace with a sheet covering him and wires everywhere, attached to his body.

And he’s on the phone. With the insurance company. Reporting the claim.

Only my husband folks.

They let you use your phone in the ER?!

So, I walk in and immediately say, “Are you ok? What are you doing? Who are you talking to?” “Why are you on the phone?!” They just ran the CT scans and we are waiting for the results. Paul turns out to be fine and a very lucky man. Thank you, God Almighty. His car did not flip over but rolled straight into a ditch. The hardest part for the paramedics was strapping him to that gurney and carrying him up and out of there. And the car is totaled. Gone.

But my husband is alive and safe and home. Thank you, God, thank you. And he only was extremely sore and had some abdominal pain and soreness.

The next morning, I had to drive my husband to work because we didn’t have a rental car by that point and I’m getting Madeline out of bed and putting her into her car seat, strapping her in extra tight and Phoebe is buckling up, again extra tight, they are excited that we get to drive daddy to work . . and Paul is next to me in the passenger seat. I think to myself, Thank you God so much that my family is in tact. That we are all safe and alive.

Light Asian Soba Noodle Salad! Colorful and fresh bell peppers with chewy soba noodles, edamame and a life changing creamy almond butter sauce! So easy and quick! #healthy #vegan #soba #sobanoodles #spon

Asian food is my comfort food and buckwheat noodles are up there on my list! I absolutely love buckwheat noodles, also known as soba noodles, and my family does too. This dish is so easy to whip up and would work great at your next cookout, or even as a delicious and quick lunch or light dinner.

Light Asian Soba Noodle Salad! Colorful and fresh bell peppers with chewy soba noodles, edamame and a life changing creamy almond butter sauce! So easy and quick! #healthy #vegan #soba #sobanoodles #spon

Check out my full post and recipe on the KitchenAid blog! I’ve got a surprise ingredient in here!! I’ve also included other grilling recipes that you can make with this Light Asian Noodle Salad. .  because come on, sometimes you gotta try something new!!

And the moral of this story? Drive carefully, folks. Please drive carefully.

Light Asian Soba Noodle Salad! Colorful and fresh bell peppers with chewy soba noodles, edamame and a life changing creamy almond butter sauce! So easy and quick! #healthy #vegan #soba #sobanoodles #spon

Light Asian Noodle Salad
 
Note for the cook: *Buckwheat noodles do not take long to cook. You typically only need to boil them for 4 to 5 minutes. Do not over cook your buckwheat noodles. You do not want your noodles too soft.
Author:
Recipe type: Main or Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
For the noodle salad:
  • 1 large zucchini, unpeeled and sliced lengthwise and in half
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 9 oz. buckwheat noodles, cooked*
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • ½ orange bell pepper, sliced thin
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
  • ½ cup cooked edamame, shelled
  • ⅓ cup diced green onions
  • Roasted sesame seeds

Instructions
  1. For the sauce: Using a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, almond butter and honey. Taste and adjust any ingredients according to your taste. Set aside.
  2. For the noodle salad: To see the complete recipe card and the rest of the instructions for this recipe, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Please visit The Kitchenthusiast for the complete recipe, to see more photos and to read my post. Thank you!!

Light Asian Soba Noodle Salad! Colorful and fresh bell peppers with chewy soba noodles, edamame and a life changing creamy almond butter sauce! So easy and quick! #healthy #vegan #soba #sobanoodles #spon

These soba noodles would go great with the following:

Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Korean Bulgogi

Spicy Asian Beef Short Ribs

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with KitchenAid USA. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with the brands that I use and love.

 

Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer’s Cheese

Delicious Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer's Cheese. Rich, meaty and bursting with flavor. One of my go-to dinners that the entire family loves! #spon @wisconsincheese

The other day, we went to my friend, Rina’s surprise birthday party. She was totally surprised so everything went great. Usually when we get together, my girls are the only kids but there were a few other kids that day so my kids got to make some new friends and were playing with the other girls within minutes.

The kids had a few balls and were sitting in the grass in a circle, tossing the balls to each other. I looked over and smiled. .  not only because they were getting along great but because they were playing. Outside. In the fresh air. In the grass. Without any iPads or devices around. And on Monday, my kids were outside for a couple of hours exploring and catching lady bugs in a mason jar. .  with no lid of course, and feeding the lady bugs cilantro.

This is what it should be about.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the iPad time will most definitely come and it does help out from time to time. And there are tons of educational apps out there now. .  so your kid isn’t just glued to the iPad watching a show or something.

But this is my hope for them for this summer. That they explore. Get outside, get dirty and just enjoy being kids.

And now that we live in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, we’re in the perfect place to go  . . . CAMPING!! Yup, we’re planning a camping trip! I might be more excited about planning the menu more than pitching a tent, but it’s all good right?

Delicious Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer's Cheese. Rich, meaty and bursting with flavor. One of my go-to dinners that the entire family loves! #spon @wisconsincheese

You guys. .  this chili. This CHILI!!! I like to go a little heavy on the chili powder and spices and although, my kids need a big glass of water, they eat it too. As long as it’s packed with ground beef or ground turkey, they eat it. I don’t know what it is about the meatiness but they eat all the meat first.

This chili is super easy to make and re-heats well.

Now, this chili wouldn’t be fabulous without something buttery and creamy to go on top. And this Wisconsin Farmer’s Cheese does it!

Delicious Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer's Cheese. Rich, meaty and bursting with flavor. One of my go-to dinners that the entire family loves! #spon @wisconsincheese

Delicious Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer's Cheese. Rich, meaty and bursting with flavor. One of my go-to dinners that the entire family loves! #spon @Wisconsin Cheese

You guys. This cheese. A-ma-zing!! So good, so creamy, so dreamy and absolutely perfect with this chili! Wisconsin Farmer’s cheese has a similar taste and texture to Havarti cheese, which I LOVE. Pile it on and enjoy!! You guys seriously need to find this cheese and try it!

Click over to read my post and find out what we have planned for the summer and which Dutch oven I love for camping!!

Delicious Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer's Cheese. Rich, meaty and bursting with flavor. One of my go-to dinners that the entire family loves! #spon @wisconsincheese

Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer’s Cheese
 
Note for the cook if taking this chili on a camping trip: This recipe should be prepped and cooked at home, packed well in an airtight container and then reheated and served within 2 to 3 days.
Author:
Recipe type: Main

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 carrots; peeled and chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes; optional
  • 2 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ to 1 lb. cooked ground turkey
  • 5 to 8 oz. Wisconsin Farmer’s Cheese, shredded
  • fresh green onions, diced for garnish

Instructions
  1. Using a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, for about 4 minutes.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and to see the complete recipe card, please visit EatWisconsinCheese.com.

Be sure to check out my complete recipe and post over at EatWisconsinCheese.com today!

Delicious Turkey Chili with Wisconsin Farmer's Cheese. Rich, meaty and bursting with flavor. One of my go-to dinners that the entire family loves! #spon @wisconsincheese

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Wisconsin Cheese. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in partnering with the brands that I use and love.

 

Baked Salmon Salad with Roasted Potatoes

Baked Salmon Salad with Roasted Red Potatoes by Hip Foodie Mom. This light, fresh and colorful salad is bursting with fantastic flavor and texture. #salad #bakedsalmon

You guys. I had a moment. A moment where I was about to give up. It was a Sunday morning (only Day 6 mind you of the Whole30) and I woke up feeling okay but after a few hours, I was tired, hungry and feeling a little dizzy. I wanted to just stuff some whole grain toast slathered with BUTTER in my mouth . .  but I didn’t.

Baked Salmon Salad with Roasted Red Potatoes by Hip Foodie Mom. This light, fresh and colorful salad is bursting with fantastic flavor and texture. #salad #bakedsalmon

One thing I’ve been doing. .  which has helped me tremendously: I keep Whole 30 “approved” foods already prepared and ready to eat in my fridge all the time. Baked sweet potatoes, my beloved cauliflower pesto minus the cheese of course, fresh greens for salad already chopped up, fruit already cleaned and cut, cooked salmon and hard boiled eggs.

I can’t fail if I do this, right?!

There won’t be the “there’s nothing to eat so let me munch on some chips” thing. Oh, and I have been snacking. .  which I am not supposed to do according to the book . .  I’ll throw a few almonds in my mouth or eat a banana. Screw the no snacking. How is this bad for you or even possible not to do? I’m a snacker!!! Plus, I don’t like to eat large (or even medium sized) portions for meals ..  I eat small portions and that’s why I graze a little throughout the day.

Anyway, that Sunday morning, after my moment of weakness in my HEAD ..  I didn’t eat any toast, folks. Even though I’ve never wanted a slice of bread that badly before. .  I ate half a baked sweet potato and took a nap. I had run 9 miles the day before and I think my body was just plain tired.

Not to mention the cursing and expletives my body says to me every time I visit a fabulous site or blog and see something amazing I want to sink my teeth into.

Baked Salmon Salad with Roasted Red Potatoes by Hip Foodie Mom. This light, fresh and colorful salad is bursting with fantastic flavor and texture. #salad #bakedsalmon

So, this salad you guys. This easy Baked Salmon Salad to the rescue. I threw this together one day  . . because I had everything in my fridge remember. .  and it was glorious.

The clouds parted, the sun came out and angels started to sing.

OK, maybe it wasn’t completely like that but I felt satisfied and my belly was happy. And I didn’t give in.

Baked Salmon Salad with Roasted Potatoes
 
Dressing makes about one cup.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Salad
Serves: 2

Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
For the salmon:
  • 1 lb. skin-on salmon fillet/s
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
For the salad:
  • fresh mixed greens
  • cooked salmon, broken into chunks
  • roasted red potatoes
  • hard boiled egg, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • tomato wedges
  • microgreens

Instructions
For the dressing:
  1. Using a mason jar or small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, while slowly pouring in the olive oil and continue to whisk together. Season with the salt and pepper and whisk again. Set aside.
For the salmon:
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the salmon; just enough to coat the salmon, don’t over do it. Feel free to rub the olive oil over the salmon with your fingers or a pastry brush. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast for about 4 to 6 minutes per half-inch thickness of salmon. If you see white stuff around the edges of your salmon, you’ve cooked it for too long. Allow to cool for a minute or two and break into chunks for the salad.
For the salad:
  1. To plate: arrange the cooked salmon chunks and roasted red potatoes on top of a full bed of fresh greens. Add on the hard boiled eggs and tomatoes. Garnish with the microgreens, drizzle on some dressing and enjoy!

Recipe for roasted red potatoes. Click here for more details on how to cook salmon in the oven.

Baked Salmon Salad with Roasted Red Potatoes by Hip Foodie Mom. This light, fresh and colorful salad is bursting with fantastic flavor and texture. #salad #bakedsalmon

Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

Looking for a great side dish for your next cookout? Try this beautiful recipe for sheet pan roasted vegetables! Red potatoes, radishes and golden beets! Hooray for root vegetables!

Hey guys! So, we are officially on summer break, woot woot!!!! This week is our do absolutely nothing week, because after this week it’s going to be go go go ..  with summer camps and traveling and math tutors and ballet.

But if you have young kids, you know that a week to do absolutely nothing, doesn’t really mean you’re doing absolutely nothing. For us, I still have to have things planned out and things for them to do because if I don’t, after 10 minutes of coloring or playing, it’s, “Mom, I’m bored!!!!!”

So, our “do nothing” week will be filled with art, activities outside, a couple play dates and a trip to the movies. Which, by the way, I seriously don’t remember the last non-kid movie I’ve watched in the movie theater.

Looking for a great side dish for your next cookout? Try this beautiful recipe for sheet pan roasted vegetables! Red potatoes, radishes and golden beets! Hooray for root vegetables!

But, it’s all good. Because I have roasted veggies. You guys. THIS is what’s going to get me through the next 26 days.

My friend, Chi, and I were recently talking about what we do for quick dinners throughout the week and we were specifically talking about vegetables. Roasting vegetables got my kids to like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Roasting vegetables is a dream! A little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is all you need! And the flavors are magical! With roasting vegetables I feel like you are really tasting the vegetables. No sauce is needed, unless you want one.

And they are beautiful.

Looking for a great side dish for your next cookout? Try this beautiful recipe for sheet pan roasted vegetables! Red potatoes, radishes and golden beets! Hooray for root vegetables!

So, from my last yellow beets post, you can see how I roasted those babies here.

Looking for a great side dish for your next cookout? Try this beautiful recipe for sheet pan roasted vegetables! Red potatoes, radishes and golden beets! Hooray for root vegetables!

You can roast all of these veggies at the same time, with the beets wrapped in foil but you have to pay attention to all the roasting times . . they are all different! But here is what I recommend, make the Roasted Golden Beets first and just roast a couple extra, cut them up into cubes and throw them on the sheet pan with the roasted potatoes and radishes, mix, drizzle on a little more extra virgin olive oil and salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve!

I think all the colors are absolutely beautiful! And if you’ve never roasted radishes, boy are you in for a treat!!! They are so good you guys!!!!! I left the tiny ones whole and cut the others in half lengthwise.

Looking for a great side dish for your next cookout? Try this beautiful recipe for sheet pan roasted vegetables! Red potatoes, radishes and golden beets! Hooray for root vegetables!

You need these roasted veggies at your next BBQ or cookout gathering! Here’s to summer!!!

Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
 
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I recommend roasting the beets first, separately and then the potatoes and radishes. COOK TIME includes the time to roast the beets. *If you have small red potatoes, you only need to cut them once in half lengthwise.
Author:
Recipe type: Side dish

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise*
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lb. radishes, with tops trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 to 2 golden beets, roasted, peeled and cubed
  • fresh parsley
  • microgreens

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Scatter the red potatoes all over the baking sheet. Laying some potatoes cut side down. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the potatoes for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. During the last 18 minutes, remove from the oven and scatter on the radishes, laying them cut side down. Drizzle on just a touch more olive oil and salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half crosswise and squeeze one half of the lemon over the potatoes and radishes. Save the other lemon half for the end right before serving. Place baking sheet back into the oven for the remaining 18 minutes. The radishes should be slightly crisp on the outside but still tender on the inside.
  4. Remove from the oven and immediately add the roasted, cubed golden beets. Toss to mix together. Taste and drizzle with a touch more olive oil if needed. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top (you only need 1 teaspoon), garnish with fresh parsley and microgreens and serve.

Click here for the recipe on how to roast the beets.

Looking for a great side dish for your next cookout? Try this beautiful recipe for sheet pan roasted vegetables! Red potatoes, radishes and golden beets! Hooray for root vegetables!

 

 

Roasted Golden Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

Before we get going here, I wanted to say that some of the food and recipes you’ll be seeing here on the blog for the next 30 days are recipes that I prepped, tested and photographed before Tuesday (some a while ago and some just on Monday!). The blog will not be Whole 30 100% of the time! I have some excellent sweet treats and recipes coming your way so don’t worry!

Hey guys! So, I’m on Day 2 of The Whole 30 . . and went a little crazy buying every vegetable known to man a few days ago. These beets I actually purchased on Saturday at Whole Foods. .  when I saw them, I grabbed them. It took me forever to find yellow beets (or golden beets) here in Madison.

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

I have to show another angle to celebrate these beauties in all their glory. I think beets are so pretty and this was actually my first time roasting them myself.

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

There are a few ways to do this. 1) you can place the beets in a shallow baking dish, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil, salt and other seasonings and then cover the entire baking dish with foil or 2) what I did here: drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil and wrap each beet individually with foil. The temp also varies. I roasted mine at 375 degrees, as opposed to 400 because I didn’t want to scorch them. But you know your oven best, so start with 375 and see how it goes.

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

Once they are done, you should be able to very easily scrape or peel off the outer skin. And for this beet (above), when I opened the foil, as you can see here, some of the skin was already coming off.

I used a spoon to scrape the skin off. So easy!

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

With roasted beets, you don’t need a lot for maximum flavor because you really want to just enjoy the taste of the beets. I simply sliced mine, and served them on a bed of greens, and drizzled extra virgin olive oil, salt and balsamic glaze (you can certainly just use balsamic vinegar). I devoured these on Monday . . so the balsamic glaze was a-ok!

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

And that’s it! Serve this as an appetizer or side with your meal. Delicious!

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

Roasted Yellow Beets with Balsamic Glaze
 
Prep time

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The photo shows how to serve the beets for 4 people. The plate featured shows one beet sliced. “Beets are delicious on their own, or with nuts, citrus segments (blood oranges would be lovely) and many soft cheeses.”
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Salad or Side
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 medium sized yellow beets, with greens attached
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more when serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Serve with fresh greens

Instructions
  1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Rinse and dry your beets and trim off the leafy tops. Place each beet on a sheet of foil and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, then wrap each beet in the aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, for about 1 hour.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, using a spoon, gently scrape the skin off and cut them crosswise into thin slices. Place on a platter, season with salt and pepper, drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic glaze. Serve with fresh greens.

How to Roast and Peel Beets from The Kitchn.

Delicious and beautiful golden beets, oven roasted, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. These are perfectly roasted beets! You can use them in so many recipes!

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread with flaxseed meal! This bread is so moist, flavorful and nutty! So good and uses NO BUTTER!!! So good and so easy to make! #glutenfree

We’ve made it, you guys.

This is the last week of school for my oldest daughter. My youngest was out two weeks ago (pre-school). I can’t believe summer is here! I always think back to my summers as a kid. We never went to summer school. .  I’m not sure our school even offered it for enrichment (and fun) classes? Well, if they did while I was in elementary school, we didn’t go. We just played outside all day with our friends, with no parental supervision mind you, played down at the creek, went over to our friends’ houses, stayed up late watching TV or movies and slept in. Ah, that was the good life. We seriously did summer right.

I’m obviously not in the same mindset, as a mother now. I’m not bombarding my kids with activities but we certainly have a lot planned, not to mention a few local trips and a quick family weekend getaway in August.

My plan is to relax a little more. I’ll probably be here on the blog, just twice a week with new recipes and am hoping to get some R&R, read some books and just enjoy the summer and my family.

What do you guys have planned for the summer?

And . .  I am doing it. I’m doing The Whole 30 and will be starting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9. It’s probably not the best time to start (I’ll be attending Eat Write Retreat the weekend of June 26-28 in Chicago) and July 4th will be in there as well, not to mention a friend’s birthday party. .  but hey, there’s probably never going to be the perfect time to do it. .  so I’m just going for it. No birthday cake for me. And will just have to eat a bun-less burger on the 4th and I’ll just bring myself a few apples to munch on and will have to pack some (salad dressing) necessities for EWR . . which should be doable since I’m driving from Madison. #stayingpositive See, I have it all planned out. God help me. #nosweetsfor30days But here’s the silver lining . . July 8th will be my last day and I go on the Wisconsin Cheese Blogger Tour on July 9-11. #yummmmmmcheese

If you’re interested, my plan is to post at least one recipe a day for 30 days on Instagram  ..  to show ideas on what you can eat. I’m hoping to see a difference in my energy level and my complexion.

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread with flaxseed meal! This bread is so moist, flavorful and nutty! So good and uses NO BUTTER!!! So good and so easy to make! #glutenfree

Now, let’s get to this bread.

I’m currently training for a half marathon in August and bananas + almond butter is my jam. Like, I eat this everyday and sometimes more on my long run days. Needless to say, we have lots of bananas in the house. I buy my organic bananas from Costco. I usually pick up at least 2, maybe 3 bunches and since I was traveling last week, one bunch got really nice and ripe. I was going to make these cookies again but decided to bake something new!

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread with flaxseed meal! This bread is so moist, flavorful and nutty! So good and uses NO BUTTER!!! So good and so easy to make! #glutenfree

And I’m so glad I did.

You guys .  this BREAD! I am in tears that I cannot eat this bread again for the next 30 days. It was SO GOOD. And maybe even tasted better because it was like my “last supper” baked treat.

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread with flaxseed meal! This bread is so moist, flavorful and nutty! So good and uses NO BUTTER!!! So good and so easy to make! #glutenfree

I made one for friends who were visiting and made another one the following day! It was THAT GOOD. Make it gluten-free, or use regular flour, it’s up to you. And I did add one of my favorite things in here . . golden flaxseed meal which gave the bread a hint of nutty flavor ..  I loved it!

Honestly, this might be my best quick bread recipe. It tasted so good. And I left the ripe bananas a little chunky, like I mashed them, but left some banana chunks in there. Damn. So good.

I hope you try this!

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread with flaxseed meal! This bread is so moist, flavorful and nutty! So good and uses NO BUTTER!!! So good and so easy to make! #glutenfree

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups gluten free baking flour
  • ¼ cup golden flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed to yield about ¾ cup of mashed banana
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and line a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Using a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a separate large mixing bowl, beat together, by hand, the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the mashed bananas and blueberries. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and fold, using a rubber spatula, just until blended.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, or for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread with flaxseed meal! This bread is so moist, flavorful and nutty! So good and uses NO BUTTER!!! So good and so easy to make! #glutenfree

Simple Caprese Salad

Simple caprese salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella. So fresh, so good and so easy to make!

If you read my blog on a regular basis you probably know that I am training for a half marathon in August. This experience has been one of the best since moving to Madison because not only have I met some fabulous friends in my running/training group but I also feel great, am running all around the beautiful city of Madison and have my running groove back. When I first started running, back when I was living in San Francisco in 2000, I was running with a friend who was trying to lose weight because she was about to get married . . yes, the wedding dress. I’m so glad I joined her because that was the beginning of my love for running.

Last weekend, after an 8 mile run, in the rain .. this was an experience let me tell you .. Laura, Jayne and I and our families met back up at Jayne’s house for a BBQ. I made this caprese salad after seeing this one on Food 52’s IG feed.

Simple caprese salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella. So fresh, so good and so easy to make!

Caprese salads are a summer staple for me. Especially when I can get my hands on beautiful heirloom tomatoes. I’ve probably mentioned this before here on the blog but I’ve come a long way with food you guys. . years ago, a co-worker of mine had an heirloom tomato hook-up. Yes, there is such a thing because I seriously got a huge box full of organic heirloom tomatoes for like $5.

Like, we’re talking maybe a 5 to 7 lb. box of tomatoes. Anyway, this guy comes into my cube at work and sees the heirloom tomatoes and says, “Wow! That’s a whole lot of heirloom tomatoes. What are you going to do with them?” and I reply, “Uh, I dunno. . I’m thinking of making tomato sauce.” And he goes on to explain to me that using heirloom tomatoes for tomato sauce would be like using your best tasting, best quality, expensive gourmet chocolate to make chocolate milk. You simply don’t do that. You just eat the chocolate in it’s pure form, so you can taste it and experience it.

Simple caprese salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella. So fresh, so good and so easy to make!

So, that was the day I learned that you simply eat heirloom tomatoes. You enjoy them. You don’t need to cook them. You don’t make tomato sauce. You enjoy them straight up with fresh mozzarella or burrata with a healthy drizzle of your finest extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Simple caprese salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella. So fresh, so good and so easy to make!

So, that’s what I did here. And, for this dish, it’s all about presentation. Aren’t the colors just stunning?! And people can take however much they want and drizzle the olive oil and vinegars to their hearts’ content. You need to make this for your next dinner party or gathering.

IMG_8123-5

And while I’m at it, you have one more day to enter my Round Pond giveaway. . I’m giving away a full set (8 bottles) of their best-flavored olive oils, vinegars and syrups. This stuff is amazing. Truly. So, enter the giveaway!!

Simple Caprese Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad or Appetizer

Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 heirloom tomatoes, all different colors, sliced
  • 6 to 8 oz package fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt (if desired)

Instructions
  1. Using a large round platter, arrange the tomato slices and mozzarella in a repeating fashion, slightly overlapping them as you arrange around the platter. You can either place a single (or few) fresh basil leaves in between each tomato and mozzarella slice or place a few around the platter.
  2. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a little salt if desired. Serve and enjoy!

 

Happy Friday you guys! Wishing everyone a fabulous, sun filled weekend.

 

 

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Mexican Crema

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with grilled corn and a Spicy Mexican Crema sauce. Fresh, insanely flavorful and so easy to make! #tacos #grilling

Greetings from sunny California!! I’m here for the next couple of days with Best Food Facts. We’ll be touring a strawberry farm, a dairy farm, doing some food and wine tasting and learning lots! The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous and I am loving it.

I actually packed really early the day I was leaving and just threw a bunch of jeans and long sleeve shirts into my huge suitcase. If you travel with me, you will learn that I always overpack (clothes and shoes) and I will always have a big suitcase ..  yes, even just for 3 days. I must have skipped that class that teaches you how to pack efficiently. I seriously don’t have that gene.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with grilled corn and a Spicy Mexican Crema sauce. Fresh, insanely flavorful and so easy to make! #tacos #grilling

I’m the same way when it comes to entertaining. Whenever I host dinner parties or any type of gathering or party, I tend to go overboard with the food. I’ve always done this. This is my thing. I’d rather have too much food versus not enough (too many clothes versus not enough. . ah, you see a pattern here?)

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with grilled corn and a Spicy Mexican Crema sauce. Fresh, insanely flavorful and so easy to make! #tacos #grilling

Over Memorial Day weekend, we had some dear friends over (our best friends here in Madison, Joe and Rina and Rina’s mother, sister and nephew were in town). So, in true Memorial Day fashion, we grilled burgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, corn and . . shrimp skewers! We always grill but we rarely grill shrimp so it was so delicious. .  I’ll definitely be grilling a lot more shrimp this summer!

I also made David’s Grilled Mexican Street Corn .  .  this is so good you guys!! You need to try this!! Anyway, the grilled shrimp inspired these tacos. . and I whipped up some more Spicy Mexican crema to top these.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with grilled corn and a Spicy Mexican Crema sauce. Fresh, insanely flavorful and so easy to make! #tacos #grilling

These tacos were soooo good you guys!!! So, I hope you throw some shrimp and corn on the grill and give these tacos a try. If you like a little heat, you will love this crema! Here’s to more summer grilling!!

Enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Mexican Crema
 
Recipe makes 8 shrimp tacos. *I highly recommend purchasing fresh (not frozen) shell-on shrimp if you can.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8

Ingredients
For the crema:
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup mexican crema, or sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice + more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped + more for garnish
  • ¼ cup feta cheese + more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
For the tacos:
  • 24 fresh shrimp, peeled and tails removed*
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt
  • 8 small flour tortillas, warmed
  • fresh romaine or green leaf lettuce, shredded
  • 3 to 4 grilled corn on the cobs, with corn cut from the cob after grilling
  • Special equipment: wooden skewers soaked in water or stainless steel skewers

Instructions
For the crema:
  1. Using a small mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, salt, cilantro, feta cheese and chipotle chili powder. Taste and adjust any ingredients according to your taste.
For the tacos:
  1. Fire up your grill. Thread about 6 shrimp (through top and tail, leaving shrimp curled), onto each skewer, without leaving space between shrimp. Brush shrimp with vegetable oil and sprinkle evenly with just a little salt.
  2. Grill shrimp skewers on one side and flip after 2 minutes and grill until pink, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from grill.
  3. To assemble the tacos: lay down your warmed flour tortilla, lay in some fresh shredded lettuce, top with about 3 grilled shrimp, sprinkle on the corn and top with the spicy Mexican crema, some more feta cheese and cilantro and feel free to squeeze a little more lime juice on before serving. Enjoy while warm!

Crema recipe from Spiced Blog.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with grilled corn and a Spicy Mexican Crema sauce. Fresh, insanely flavorful and so easy to make!  #tacos #grilling

Blood Orange Brownies + A Giveaway!

Blood Orange Brownies using blood orange olive oil! The best brownies you will ever try with a hint of blood orange! Plus a giveaway! #brownies #bloodorange #giveaway

Earlier in May, I visited San Francisco with my girlfriends and my sister. I used to live in San Francisco (1999 to 2001) so I loved seeing my old neighborhood, being in the city and meeting up with old friends. I absolutely adore San Francisco.

And we couldn’t go to San Francisco without going to wine country. .  Napa Valley.

Round Pond Estates

Our first stop was to Round Pond Estates. “Round Pond Estate, owned and operated today by the second generation of the MacDonnell family, is a Rutherford farm and winery that specializes in the creation of pure, expressive wines, artisan foods and unforgettable experiences—all from the heart of Napa Valley.” This was my first time visiting this winery and the visit was great. Round Pond is absolutely beautiful!

Round Pond Estates

They have a lovely second story tasting lounge and a covered terrace offering panoramic views of the vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains. The view is breathtaking . .  you’ll just have visit to see it for yourself!

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What I loved about Round Pond was that they have an olive mill right across the street. .  so, after our food and wine garden pairings, we purchased some wine and headed across the street for their Olive Mill Experience.

Round Pond Estates Olive Mill Experience

We learned about olive cultivation, harvest, and Round Pond’s artisan methods of olive oil production.

Round Pond Estates Olive Mill Experience

Then, we had a guided tasting of Round Pond’s fresh olive oils and red wine vinegar blends. The olive oil and vinegar blend tastings were so delicious! We sampled a small selection of garden inspired small bites using fresh organic produce and locally sourced meats and cheeses, all developed by Round Pond’s Estate chef. They even gave us the recipe cards for everything we tasted so we could re-create the fabulous recipes at home.

We tasted the following:

  • Burrata Cheese with roasted asparagus, arugula pesto and crunchy quinoa
  • Smoked Salmon Lollipop
  • Roasted Yellow Beets with Blood Orange Oil and Sea Salt (SO GOOD!!)
  • Baby Lettuces with Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • Seasoned Pork Tenderloin with Herb Argo Dolce and Huckleberry Compote
  • Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake
  • Pomegranate Gelee
  • Blood Orange Brownies

Round Pond Estates Olive Oils

I love it when I try something unexpected and different and it’s delicious.

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We ended the Olive Mill Experience with a Strawberry and Ginger Shrub Mocktail, with . .  Blood Orange Olive Oil and Pomegranate Syrup. It was absolutely delicious!!

You guys, if you ever are in the Napa Valley, you need to stop in at Round Pond Estates and you have to do the Olive Mill Experience. .  it’s amazing!! To get a more detailed look at their Mill Tasting, check out their feature from their blog, the Feed: “Three New Olive Mill Experiences“.

Round Pond Estates Olive Oils, Vinegars and Syrups

To say that these olive oils are delicious is an understatement. I love the different flavors and the Blood Orange Brownies left a lasting impression with me . . like these are the best brownies I have ever tasted.

And they were even better when I baked them at home.

Blood Orange Brownies using blood orange olive oil! The best brownies you will ever try with a hint of blood orange! Plus a giveaway! #brownies #bloodorange #giveaway

So, I have to share the recipe with you today! And make sure you enter the giveaway below so you can try these olive oils, vinegars and syrups and make these brownies!

Round Pond Estates Blood Orange Olive Oil

These brownies obviously use the Round Pond Blood Orange Olive Oil shown above and you can also drizzle with their Blood Orange Citrus Syrup on the brownies as well before serving. Amazing!!!

Round Pond Estates Blood Orange Syrup and Meyer Lemon Syrup

You can bet that I’m going to try this recipe with the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil next!

Blood Orange Brownies using blood orange olive oil! The best brownies you will ever try with a hint of blood orange! Plus a giveaway! #brownies #bloodorange #giveaway

Enter the giveaway below. .  you have to try these olive oils and syrups!!

Note: I doubled this recipe!!

Blood Orange Brownies
 
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Recipe uses an 8-inch square baking pan and yields about 12 brownies. Lining the baking pan with parchment paper makes the brownies easier to remove.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons Round Pond Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz Round Pond Estate Blood Orange Citrus Syrup (optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray if desired.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium pan over very low heat. Stir together and remove from heat. Let cool for a minute or two. Add the Blood Orange Olive Oil, sugar and vanilla, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating into the mixture rapidly to avoid cooking the eggs. Stir in the salt, cocoa and flour.
  3. Spread the brownie mixture into your prepared baking pan and bake until set, for about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool before cutting with a sharp knife and drizzle with Blood Orange Citrus Syrup before serving if desired.

Recipe from Round Pond Estates. Shared here with permission.

Blood Orange Brownies using blood orange olive oil! The best brownies you will ever try with a hint of blood orange! Plus a giveaway! #brownies #bloodorange #giveaway

Blood Orange Brownies using blood orange olive oil! The best brownies you will ever try with a hint of blood orange! Plus a giveaway! #brownies #bloodorange #giveaway

The Giveaway!!

(Giveaway open to residents within the United States only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Blood Orange Brownies using blood orange olive oil! The best brownies you will ever try with a hint of blood orange! Plus a giveaway! #brownies #bloodorange #giveaway

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The giveaway alone is sponsored by Round Pond Estates. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza with Pesto

Grilled Breakfast Pizza with pesto. Fire up the grill and throw breakfast on the barbie!! You might never want just plain bacon and eggs again. #pizza #grilledpizza #grilling #breakfast

You guys. .  I have been waiting to share this recipe with you. After this fabulous grilled pizza, I was grilling pizzas for a couple of weeks straight.

And I finally get to share my homemade pizza dough recipe!!! It makes enough for 4 pizzas so make the entire batch and freeze some dough balls for later! Believe me, after this, you’ll be firing up that grill a lot!!!! Just to make this breakfast pizza!

Grilled Breakfast Pizza with pesto. Fire up the grill and throw breakfast on the barbie!! You might never want just plain bacon and eggs again. #pizza #grilledpizza #grilling #breakfast

Here’s my new love. .  my new KitchenAid grill. She’s amazing. As are all of my other female countertop appliances and kitchen gadgets.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza with pesto. Fire up the grill and throw breakfast on the barbie!! You might never want just plain bacon and eggs again. #pizza #grilledpizza #grilling #breakfast

I might be eating breakfast pizza for the next month or so. Be sure to check out my post over at The Kitchenthusiast because I’ll be honest, making this pizza took a few tries. Grilling pizza on the grill isn’t completely easy. It just takes some practice and you’re sure to lose a few eggs in the process . .  you’ll understand what I mean if you try this recipe.

And I hope you do. .  because this pizza is AMAZING.  And yes, there is pesto involved.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza with pesto. Fire up the grill and throw breakfast on the barbie!! You might never want just plain bacon and eggs again. #pizza #grilledpizza #grilling #breakfast

Grilled Breakfast Pizza
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main or Breakfast

Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 6 cups packed fresh basil
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic; whole or minced
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
For the pizza dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the breakfast pizza:
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
  • 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese, split
  • 16 cooked and crispy bacon strips, split
  • 8 to 12 eggs**, split
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Combine the basil, arugula, garlic, and pine nuts in your KitchenAid food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse again until smooth. Season with salt and pulse one last time. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and to see this complete recipe card, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

For this complete recipe AND step by step photos, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza with pesto. Fire up the grill and throw breakfast on the barbie!! You might never want just plain bacon and eggs again. #pizza #grilledpizza #grilling #breakfast

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation in partnership with KitchenAid. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with the brands that I use and love. 

 

Cheddar Cheese Chive and Bacon Muffins

Cheddar Cheese, Chive and BACON muffins! These savory muffins are like a little meal in a muffin. So easy to make!

Happy Memorial Day!

You guys. .  where did the year go?! We are one week away from June and SUMMER!!! I can’t believe it. Our summer will be filled with parties, entertaining, traveling and just some good old fashioned summer fun and relaxing. This is the plan at least. And if we can fit in swim lessons for the girls, even better.

School ends in a couple of weeks and with that, some graduation parties and other end of the school year parties. I’ll be making these savory cheddar cheese, chive and bacon muffins!

Cheddar Cheese, Chive and BACON muffins! These savory muffins are like a little meal in a muffin. So easy to make!

After making these, I wanted to make a similar recipe that would work in a regular sized muffin pan. And this recipe is it! If you like cheddar cheese and bacon . . and uh, who doesn’t?! You will love these muffins.

These are sure to be a huge hit at your next summer BBQ or gathering.

Cheddar Cheese, Chive and BACON muffins! These savory muffins are like a little meal in a muffin. So easy to make!

Cheddar Cheese Chive and Bacon Muffins
 
Prep time

Cook time

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Recipe makes 12 muffins.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the muffin pan
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk (you can use whole milk or 2%)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 5 slices bacon, cut in half, cooked until crispy and chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup chives, finely diced

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and thoroughly grease your muffin pan. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and set aside to cool slightly. Break the eggs into the same bowl with the slightly cooled melted butter and whisk gently. Next, whisk in the flour, salt and milk until just barely blended; a few lumps are fine.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and to see this recipe card, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Visit The Kitchenthusiast for this complete recipe.

I’m also sharing my tips for summer entertaining. .  so check out my post!!!

 

Disclosure: This is a paid post in partnership with KitchenAid. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with brands that I use and love. 

 

 

Red White and Blue Granita Dessert + A Giveaway!

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

Happy Friday everyone! Before we get going here, I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the comments on my last post. I loved reading your comments and stories as well. Thank you so much. This week has been very emotional but good living through those feeling again. .  and, bottom line, let’s learn to love ourselves and love others and teach our children to do the same.

And I’m still going through the list to visit each and every one of you . . but again, just thank you. So much.

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

Memorial Day is Monday!!!! So, you know what that means! No school or work on Monday and it’s a long weekend!!!! Woot woot!!! As we are remembering those people who served in our country’s armed forces and celebrating them . . we will also probably be spending time at the BBQ grill and hanging out with friends and family.

Whenever we get together for a Memorial Day BBQ, these are the must-have’s: meat to grill (hot dogs, burgers, chicken), a pasta salad, regular salad, potato salad, all kinds of munchies and dessert!!

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

Our desserts are usually cold . .  so after seeing this strawberry basil granita, I knew what to do. This is how it went down. As long as you have a blender, you are set. And, what? You don’t have a blender? Well, stay tuned for giveaway details down below!!

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

Just start by combining the strawberries, some lemon juice, and water. Puree until smooth. Add some simple syrup and stir to combine.

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

Pour the strawberry liquid mixture into a freezer safe pan and place in your freezer for about an hour. Remove from the freezer and use a fork to stir up the icy liquid. Return to freezer and remove every 30 minutes to scrape the contents. That’s it!

Now, let’s get started on the dessert!! It’s Memorial Day weekend, so we’re all about the red white and blue!

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

Just assemble and serve! Couldn’t be any easier? and you know what? These were inspired by the cream popsicles I used to eat as a kid. You know what I’m talking about? Creamsicles!!! An creamy (ice cream mixture) in the center, with a fruit popsicle exterior. Those were the best!!!

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

I hope you give these a go! My kids loved these!! Wishing everyone a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!!!

Red White and Blue Granita Dessert
 
Prep time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
For the simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
For the strawberry granita:
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup simple syrup + more if needed
For the dessert:
  • vanilla ice cream
  • blueberries
  • fresh mint leaves (optional)

Instructions
For the simple syrup:
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and continue to heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside.
For the strawberry granita:
  1. Using a blender, puree together the strawberries, lemon juice and water. Add the simple syrup and stir to combine. Taste and adjust by adding more simple syrup if necessary.
  2. Pour the strawberry liquid mixture into a freezer safe pan and place into your freezer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how cold your freezer is). Remove from the freezer and use a fork to stir up the icy liquid. Return to the freezer and remove every 30 minutes to scrape contents. It should take about 2 to 3 hours until the mixture has turned into ice crystals and looks like an icy slushy.
For the dessert:
  1. Scoop out some vanilla ice cream and top with the strawberry granita and then sprinkle on some fresh blueberries. Add a mint leaf if desired and serve!

Strawberry granita adapted from The Little Epicurean

Remember creamsicles as a kid?! Well, this Red White and Blue Granita Dessert is just that! Whip these up this weekend for a fabulous treat!  #redwhiteandblue #dessert

We’re having a Summer Pinterest Party!!!

Enter to WIN a KitchenAid Diamond Blender!!!

I’ve teamed up with some fabulous bloggers and we’re hosting a PINTEREST PARTY next Wednesday, May 27th!!! We’ve got some GREAT prizes (there will be lots!) . . and we’re giving away this fabulous KitchenAid Diamond Blender ($159.99) in the color of your choice!!! I’m showing you this one (watermelon) because I love the color!!!

Here are some details:

Pinterest Party!!! May 27th!

 

  1. Follow the Creative Home Pinterest Party Board

  2. Join us Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 9 p.m. EST

  3. Re-pin and Comment for a chance to win prizes

I’ll give out more details next week and if you have any questions in the meantime, please ask me below in the comments!! Wishing everyone a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!!! See you next week!!