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Showing posts from July, 2014

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Toasted Almonds

I've never been a great gardener, but I've always been surrounded by those who have been more than willing to help me with their eager green thumbs. I grew up with a garden in our backyard every year, and monthly visits to my Grandpa's full acre garden. Every Fall we'd make it up to Cache Valley Utah for harvest time, and shuck corn, boil corn, and bag corn the entire day. Our pumpkins always came from Grandpa's garden, my Mom made fresh jam from the raspberries, we had endless amounts of squash and zucchini, and my Grandma's apple tree was something Martha Stewart's trees could envy. It was a dreamy childhood of a beautiful and deep appreciation of the fruits of the land. I didn't fully appreciate what my Grandparents had done, and how amazing a gardener my mother is, until I tried to grow my own.

Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat

On Saturdays, I feel like we either have all the time in the world to make dinner, or we have nearly zero time at all. On one particular Saturday this month, we found ourselves with zero plans, and a serious craving for Chinese food. It was then when we finally tried this recipe I had been dreaming of, and it seriously didn't disappoint!

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat

When I was in high school, I wasn't the greatest at attending all my classes. But then again, most of the said "classes" I was cutting out on were my Music Independent Study classes. For those of you who aren't familiar, for the credit in that class, you were expected to sit in a small secluded semi-soundproof practice room by the music room for an hour and practice your instrument; any musician's dream-come-true, really. The music I needed to learn for the Wind Symphony at my high school was never treacherous, so I mostly practiced my pieces and scales for my private lessons with a music professor at BYU. I was an addict to my music, and it paid off in college immensely! 
Unfortunately (I thought it was fortunate at the time), my high school boyfriend and his best friend had the same class with me at the same time. I'm almost 100% sure his friend didn't have the class with us, but he often came along with us anyway. For the most part, I practiced my tai…

Toasted Coconut Malt Ball Cookies

We usually bake a batch of cookies every week. It might sound extreme to some, but as a food blogger I have to stay on my toes! Trying new recipes and flavors combinations is something I crave, and the fruits of my labor are usually kind of fun to  stuff in my face like a complete animal  nibble on. My favorite recipes, however, are the ones that are kind of random, and 100% unplanned; thrown together from the random ingredients in my pantry. 
I had a busy week in full force, and needed some cookies for some visits we were going on for our church. Unfortunately, I didn't have a single chocolate chip or candy bar in the house to toss into my favorite cookie base recipe. This is when this strangely addicting cookie came into play. 

S'mores Brownie Pie

I wasn't going to share this little darlin' until August, but I just couldn't wait any longer! Mostly because we're still working on it slice by slice, day by day. When you have a dessert as decadent and rich as this, small bites are definitely best. You get to experience the flavor longer with smaller pieces, and the pie lasts much longer. Unfortunately, whenever I finish a little slice, I can't help but think about the next slice the second my plate is empty. Bad, bad, bad, I tell you. 

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies

I know what you're probably thinking. Oh wow, Blondie. A recipe for rice krispie treats? You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days. 
Oh man, if only you could have a mouthful of these little babies. You'd ask for another 10 mouthfuls. These typical rice krispie treats have been completely transformed by two of my favorite ingredients: 
browned butter sea salt. 
This treat will never be the same for me, nor will I ever make rice krispies without those two blessed ingredients. HUGE transformation, folks. 

Summer Grilled Chicken & Corn Chopped Salad

We have grilled chicken pretty often during the summertime - especially barbecue chicken. The marinade is easy (we just dump a bottle of BBQ sauce in a tupperware with raw chicken breasts, how much easier can that get?), heating the grill outside on the balcony is much less work than dealing with the oven heating up our little apartment or even having to work with the aftermath of grilling up the meat inside on my grill pan on the stove, and the taste of slightly charred grilled chicken is downright tasty every single time. 
Now, I've heard grilled chicken get a pretty bad rap. The words dry and chewy are usually thrown into the description. Now, I've had my fair share of botched batches of grilled chicken. Some well overcooked, some practically inedible because of nasty under-cooking. But I've learned that there's a technique to it, and having a meat thermometer handy is always a good idea. Most of what I've learned about grilling chicken is from a lot of practic…

Zucchini Pizza Bites

I have a secret. 
It wasn't until I started growing zucchinis by myself that I realized that zucchini's don't have to be the size of your arm before you pull them from the vine...

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad

My Mom was always awesome at having people over for dinner (mostly the missionaries from our church). I remember her always making this salad for company, and being the little snot bag I was sometimes, I turned my nose right up at the salad. I thought it was super gross. I mean, I loved "Top Ramen" at the time, but anything with a slight scent of vinegar made me a little queazy, and I knew I didn't want anything to do with it. Sad to say, I hadn't tried the salad since. Even when I saw this salad on the table at a potluck dinner or barbecue, I skipped right over it. Little did I know until quite recently, that I was making a pretty grave mistake skipping over such a gem of a dish...

Easy Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

As you may have noticed over my past few posts, I am all about the easy dinner recipe. Summer dinners should be quick, delicious, and require little to no prep time. Weekdays I usually have a little more time, so an extra half hour here and there isn't a big deal. But Sunday. Oh Sundays..  Sundays tend to be our busiest days (or at least they feel like they are), and after a long & busy afternoon at church the last thing I want to do the second I walk through the door is make dinner. So Sundays officially became our "Slow Cooker Sundays" last Fall. 
That choice has seriously saved our lives, man. 

Peony Wedding Cake

Happy Monday, everyone! I thought I'd share something a little special to kick off the week. I love making & blogging about food. It's a true passion of mine. I may not have the nicest camera, endless experience in the kitchen, any photo editing software at all (you would die if you only knew), or even what some would call "the basics" when it comes to properly making this ship sail properly, but I still enjoy every second of it.
 What I love most, though, is the support I've received from dear family, friends, and all you amazing followers - I feel like such an underdog, and like I have a long way to go, but every now-and-then, one of you throws me a bone, and I feel like I'm on top of the game in my kitchen again. Every email, comment, like, message, and even compliments in person are each something I cherish, and I feel so blessed for those who have believed in me along this slowly growing, but beautifully blooming, blogging journey. 
Aside from food …

Easy Caprese Tortellini Salad

Whew! What a crazy week of s'mores, driving to Evanston to buy and fill the trunk with giant illegal fireworks see the desert scenery with my brother, swimming at the pool, gardening, eating watermelon & corn on the cob, melting at a parade, getting way too much candy from said parade, filling up on Hawaiian shaved ice with ice cream, dreaming of fireworks, bonfires, roadside fresh produce stands, spending time with family, sidewalk chalk with the niece and nephew, sidewalk fireworks with the kids, watching my brother almost blow up his house with giant fireworks, Cafe Rio, Carrie Underwood at Stadium of Fire to see even more fireworks, getting pulled over by a cop for driving too fast (it was Ryan, not me this time! haha!), getting off with a warning, and watching even more fireworks across the entire valley from our balcony! We are a firework-loving family, I tell you!

Easy Fourth of July Recipe - Firework Pigs-in-a-Blanket

This is kind of a silly little recipe, and I almost didn't share, but sometimes those simple dinners we try are the ones our family falls head-over-heels over. Sometimes I'd spend hours in the kitchen with high hopes of full bellies and my favorite "mmmMMMMMmm" sound filling the air at the dinner table... only to receive just the opposite from the smallest ones in the house. Our little man's tastes are still very different from ours, so I always make an effort to plan out a couple "kids meal" for the whole family to enjoy during the week for dinner (chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, grilled cheese, ets). It's also kind of fun to channel our inner child sometimes in the process, and have a break from my constant recipe testing.