September 21, 2018

September 19, 2018

Chocolate chip banana pumpkin muffins

Banana bread and pumpkin bread are combined into one in these delicious spiced muffins loaded with chocolate chips. These chocolate chip banana pumpkin muffins are my contribution to this month's Fantastical Food Fight featuring Banana! Bananas are a staple in our house because the kids love them. They eat them up so quickly that they rarely turn brown, so I had to hide two just to get them ripe enough for muffin making! Muffin recipes are something I post a lot - they are so easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless. Plus, my toddlers love eating them and also helping to make them. You can taste hints of both the banana and the pumpkin - they are very flavorful from both of those as well as the spices. I wasn't sure about using chocolate chips, but I'm glad I did; they are a great addition to both banana bread and pumpkin bread. Using bananas also helps to really reduce the amount of added sugar, while still having a tasty muffin. This recipe will make 12 muffins.

September 14, 2018

September 11, 2018

Silky creamy zucchini soup

A silky smooth creamy zucchini soup is a perfect last hurrah to your summer zucchinis as we transition into fall. Fall is hands-down my favorite season, but I still have a hard time with the end of summer, especially now having children. Even though they are only two years old, the passage of time is more apparent to me now than ever. Soups are a favorite of mine, and even more as the weather beings to cool (as I write this we are in the midst of a late summer heat wave though). We've been gifted many zucchini this year (Which you may have guessed from all my zucchini recipes lately) and I thought it would be a great vegetable to make a cream soup from. The texture of the zucchini blends up so nice and smooth that very little cream is used here. In fact, I used chicken broth for the majority of the liquid. I kept the flavorings to a minimum, but herbs like parsley or basil would be a nice compliment to this soup. This recipe will serve about 4 people as a main dish with a side of bread or crackers and cheese. It's also a nice starter or side dish with something like a BLT sandwich.

September 7, 2018

September 5, 2018

Lemon zucchini bread

This lemony bread is studded with zucchini making it a delicious summertime quick bread. I feel like I've been sharing tons of zucchini recipes this summer. I always think that there's no way I can come up with another new way to use something, but that never seems to be the case! This bread is a change-up from regular zucchini bread - it's packed with lemon zest, a little lemon juice, and then drizzled with a lemon glaze. As usual, my toddlers helped with this bread and they did a great job of helping me dump the measured ingredients into the bowl and of eating the shredded zucchini as fast as I could grate it. They love being helpers lately and we try to embrace that and involve them as much as possible while doing work around the house and yard. I truly love that they enjoy helping in the kitchen and also that they enjoy eating what we make (for the most part). This recipe will make one loaf of bread.

August 31, 2018

September Recipe Round-Up {Back to School + Giveaway}


Welcome to the September Recipe Round-Up! I, for you, can't believe it's September again already. This month's round-up brings you back-to-school recipes with fun desserts and easy dinners for the family. Our bloggers are sharing their favorite recipes with you, including breakfast, side dishes and snacks, main dishes and ((of course)) dessert.  Plus, we have another amazing GIVEAWAY that you don't want to miss! Continue reading to see all the recipes and enter the giveaway.

August 31st Friday Frenzy Food & Craft Link Party

Friday Frenzy 
Welcome to the Friday Frenzy, the Best Food and Craft Link Party on the Web. Why is it the best?

August 30, 2018

Old-fashioned zucchini pie

A cream pie blended with cooked zucchini makes for a unique dessert that will probably surprise your family and friends when they find out the secret ingredient. I made this pie along with my sweet potato pie for my husband's birthday this year. The zucchini taste is very subtle in the pie; mostly it tastes like a cream pie with a bit of cinnamon. We didn't tell anyone what kind of pie it was before serving it and no one could guess what it was, but everyone really enjoyed it and my husband said it was one of his favorites (and I make a lot of pie). I found the recipe here and I knew I had to try it before zucchini season was over. I love trying out old-fashioned recipes like this one. I also enjoyed the pie a lot and it's super easy to make. After you cook the zucchini, everything for the filling is whizzed together in a blender and ready to pour into the pie shell to bake. Super easy and super yummy!

August 27, 2018

Turkey and summer vegetable soup

Ground turkey, diced tomatoes, fresh garden herbs, and summer vegetables make a scrumptious and hearty summertime soup. I know, soup is for cold weather, right? Not for me! I definitely prefer soup in the fall and winter, but I eat it all year round. Soup is something my toddlers generally enjoy as well, though they do prefer smooth soups and the broth over chunks. They have been really into green beans this summer because we have them in our garden and pretty much every day they go over to check to see if there are any beans they can eat. I can almost guarantee if I put a raw green bean on their dinner plate, they would not eat it... but getting to pick it outside and eat it at their picnic table makes is so much more exciting! They helped me pick the beans for this soup and were excited about it. They ate the soup well (one pretty much scarfed it down) and we have had it a few times this summer already. It makes a lot, so we get leftovers each time as well. This soup, like most, is pretty adaptable. You could leave out one of the vegetables, add more of less of one, or even add others like peas or cubed yellow squash. I used ground turkey, but ground chicken or beef would probably also be very yummy. We had this soup with a side of garlic bread for a full meal. It will serve about 6 people as a main dish.

August 24, 2018

August 21, 2018

Bread and butter refrigerator zucchini pickles

Quick refrigerator pickles are a go-to for me when summer garden vegetables get a little out of control. If you have zucchini, these sweet and tangy pickles are a delicious way to use some up and extend their shelf life a little while. I'm usually more of a dill pickle person, but there are definitely times when a sweet and tangy pickle compliment a meal very well (tuna sandwiches, anything with barbeque sauce). These pickles though, I could (and would, and do) eat straight out of the fridge just walking by for no reason. They are super yummy! I love the turmeric in them because it adds a hint of color as well as flavor. Give them a little shake every once in a while to keep the spices distributed. You can add some garlic or a pinch of red pepper flakes if you would like. I wanted to keep the pickles on the sweeter side.

August 17, 2018

August 14, 2018

Vegetable and mozzarella mini turkey meatloaves

Individual turkey meatloaves with grated carrots, yellow squash, and zucchini and stuffed with mozzarella cheese are sure to be a family favorite. Meatloaf is one of (if not my all-time) favorite comfort foods. I love a plate of meatloaf with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans! I wanted to make a bit lighter version of meatloaf for the summer and one that contained more vegetables for the kids. Sometimes when I was a kid my mom would make mini meatloaf and put mozzarella cheese in the middle, so I wanted to do that for my kids as well. Using dark meat turkey and adding a bunch of vegetables keeps the meatloaf nice and moist. It's a delicious way to get some more vegetables into your family and also to use up some of those summer garden vegetables. I made four meatloaves with this recipe and our 2 year olds split one. One really gobbled it up and the other ate most of what she had, so I call that a win!

August 10, 2018

August 8, 2018

Cinnamon basil shortbread cookies

Have you ever tried the herb cinnamon basil? My mom gave me one this year and it's been growing in my herb garden while I wonder how to use it. It's a pretty herb that reminds me of Thai basil or Holy basil. Cinnamon basil has a purple stem and its leaves are sweet and warm and definitely have a bit of cinnamon flavor to them. I often make rosemary shortbread during the holiday season so when I was reading up on cinnamon basil and saw this recipe for a shortbread cookie using it I was inspired to give them a try. They are amazing. And I mean it fully. They were like nothing we've ever tasted before. The flavor of the herb is so unique and goes so deliciously in a sweet application. My husband was floored by them - a simple shortbread, but filled with a sweet, delicate, slightly cinnamony flavor with a hint of herby basil taste. Plus they smell so good! What a terrific flavor combination. I'm looking forward to trying the cinnamon basil in more recipes now. I'm thinking stir fries and maybe an ice cream. My modified recipe below will make about 12-14 cookies.

August 3, 2018

August 2, 2018

Whole wheat blueberry zucchini muffins

Seasonal blueberries and zucchini collide in this summery muffin giving you fruit and vegetable in each bite! This past weekend our twins turned two and I still can't believe how quickly they are growing and how much they change all the time. We had a small birthday party with family and the next day we went blueberry picking. They really love fruit and blueberries are a favorite. We went last year with them as well, but this year they were able to walk and help. One did a terrific job with picking and carrying her bucket! She was so focused and had a lot of fun. The other did a really good job at eating the blueberries as fast as he could! He also had fun. Plus they got to visit with chickens, goats, a donkey, and more. They've also really been enjoying helping me lately with things like washing dishes and measuring/dumping ingredients for cooking and baking. They helped make these muffins and also helped with eating them, too!

July 31, 2018

August Recipe Round-Up {Summer Recipes + Giveaway}

Welcome to the August Recipe Round-Up! This month's round-up brings you summertime recipes for a backyard barbecue perfect for those hot August days! Our bloggers are sharing their favorite recipes with you, including breakfast, side dishes and snacks, main dishes, and ((of course)) dessert. Keep reading to check out what we are bringing you this month and to enter another another amazing GIVEAWAY that you don't want to miss!!

July 27, 2018

July 24, 2018

Dill pickle potato salad

Creamy potato salad filled with dill --- dill pickle juice, chunks of dill pickles, and dried dill is perfect for the dill pickle lovers in your life! I've been planning to make and share this recipe for years now and now I'm finally getting to it. I am a huge fan of dill pickles (well, pretty much all pickles, actually). I made this salad with three types of dill - dried dill, chopped dill pickles, and dill pickle juice. The recipe is more of a guide because the intensity of the dill flavor will depend on the intensity of your pickles. With milder pickles you may want a little more, and with really pungent vinegary pickles, you may find you want a little less. It's up to you; please adjust to suite your tastes! No pickles are going to be exactly the same, but I suggest to use crunchy pickles. You want to be able to feel the pickle crunch as a nice contrast to the soft potatoes and eggs. This recipe is perfect for summer cookouts, picnics, and potlucks. It will easily serve about 10-12 people as a side dish.

July 20, 2018

July 18, 2018

Beet pancakes

Sweet, earthy beets are used to add color, flavor, and sweetness to these pancakes made with whole wheat. Long-time readers and friends know I have a bit of a pancake obsession and I've shared quite a lot of pancake recipes over the years - in fact this is my third so far just this year. I keep thinking I'm going to run out of ideas, but it hasn't happened yet! I've been kinda into beets lately, especially after making this amazing beet lemonade, so I figured it was time to make some beet pancakes. As a mom of twin toddlers, I'm always sneaking vegetables into foods and pancakes are a really easy way to do it. The beets turn these pancakes a really lovely shade of pinkish and they taste delicious. The kids enjoyed them (as they do all pancakes) and my husband and I did as well. This recipe will serve about four people.

July 13, 2018

July 12, 2018

Candied watermelon rind

Candied watermelon rind is a fun treat and a terrific way to use some of your food scraps and turn them into something you'd want to eat! I saw this recipe over at Sew Historically and knew I had to give it a try. Watermelon rind is edible, though not especially tasty raw. My twins are watermelon monsters so I buy one every week in the summer, leaving us with A LOT of rinds to compost. In the past I've canned watermelon rind pickles, but these days I don't really get as much canning done as I used to, so I loved finding a new way to use the rinds. The process to candy the rind took about 4 days, but most of the time is completely hands-off. I scaled up the recipe to make more and I added some drying time in the direct sunlight. It's an imperfect process that you have to play by ear; a dehydrator may be helpful here and cut down on drying time, but mine turned out delicious! We've been eating them out of hand for a few days just as a little treat - they are almost like a fruit snack in a way (also somewhat reminiscent of a gummy worm! Sweet, a little tart, and a touch chewy.

July 9, 2018

Roasted balsamic radishes

Radishes roasted in olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar are a tasty way to change-up your radish eating routine! My in-laws had a whole bunch of radishes in their garden that needed eating. We took some the other day so I could finally make roasted radishes. These have been something I've wanted to make for a while now, but I never seem to have enough radishes at one time to make a decent sized batch. These radishes had a good amount of heat to them when eaten raw, but roasted mellows and changes the flavor. They reminded me of a roasted turnip that was extra juicy. The balsamic added a nice tang to the radishes and I topped them with a sprinkling of fresh parsley from the garden. We enjoyed eating them like this and will be having them on the menu again when we have an abundance of radishes. I feel like radishes are rarely used outside of eating a few out of hand or in a salad, so this is a fun way to try them in a new light. This dish will serve about 2-4 people as a side.

July 6, 2018

June 29, 2018

June 29th Friday Frenzy Food & Craft Link Party


Welcome to the Friday Frenzy, the Best Food and Craft Link Party on the Web. Why is it the best?

July Recipe Round-Up {Cookout & Fourth of July + Giveaway}

Welcome to the July Recipe Round-Up! This month's round-up brings you recipes for a backyard barbecue, with a sprinkling of patriotic inspired recipes perfect for celebrating the 4th of July! Our bloggers are sharing their favorite recipes with you, including breakfast, side dishes and snacks, main dishes and ((of course)) dessert. Come check out what we are bringing you this month! Plus we have another amazing GIVEAWAY that you don't want to miss!!

June 28, 2018

Beet lemonade {#CookoutWeek}

Sweet, tart, and a little earthy, beet lemonade is a delicious and different drink for a hot summer day! I had beet lemonade out at a restaurant last year and have been wanting to recreate it at home ever since. I was waiting for #CookoutWeek because I knew it would fit in perfectly with all the summery cookout, grilling, and picnic recipes. While this drink was new to me, there are recipes on the internet already (like everything!) so I read a bunch of them and played around until I got the flavor I wanted. You can adjust it very easily by adding more or less sugar, more or less beet, and more or less lemon juice, and also with more or less water. I like to use less water because I really enjoy the flavors, but you can dilute it more if you want. You can also top it off with a bit of sparkling water for some bubbles (or maybe even a splash of vodka). It's all up to you and your taste buds. This refreshing drink recipe will make about 6-8 servings. And, as always when working with beets, remember that they can and will stain!

June 27, 2018

Easy creamy grape salad {#CookoutWeek}

Make this cool and creamy side dish for your next cookout or picnic! I'm sharing this classic grape salad as part of my #CookoutWeek recipe contributions (don't forget to enter the exciting GIVEAWAY). There are versions of this recipe floating around all over the web and probably in many people's own family collections, so I don't know exactly where it originated, but this is the version I make since discovering it last summer. Gasp?!?! Last summer, you say?!?! Yes, last summer was the first time I had ever seen or tried this grape salad and now I'm hooked. So, this is the perfect time to share it with all of you. It's so easy to throw together plus it's nice and cool for a hot day. Get the firmest grapes you can find - it makes a difference - you want them to "pop" in your mouth (not squish) when you bite them! This recipe will make enough to feed a crowd - probably about 20 people as a side. It's always a winner at our family gatherings.

June 26, 2018

Honey cinnamon summer berry crisp {#CookoutWeek}

Disclosure: Chef Shamy provided me with two flavors of their butter as a #CookoutWeek 2018 sponsor. All opinions are my own and I was not required to post a favorable review.

Four kinds of fresh summer berries are baked together with honey and cinnamon and topped with a crisp made with seriously the most amazing butter ever -- Chef Shamy's Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Honey Butter. You guys, I'm not kidding at all when I say this butter is amazing. I may have eaten a little directly from the spoon because it is so flavorful and delicious! I knew I wanted to use this butter to create a summer berry dessert because I thought the flavors in the butter would mesh so well with the berries. It took a little playing around with the crisp topping since the butter is already sweetened, but I think I nailed it with the final product. This dessert highlights summer's seasonal berries and it's a perfect sweet treat to top off your next summer picnic or party.

Chef Shamy is giving all of our #CookoutWeek readers a special discount on their butters! I'm super excited and I really hope you all give it a try! Aside from this Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Honey Butter, I also have their Garlic Butter with Parmesan Cheese & Basil and it is fabulous on corn on the cob (popcorn, too). It would be another perfect addition to your summer cookouts. They have many other flavors as well and I know I'll be trying more (like Strawberry Honey Butter!).  

Visit Chef Shamy for more information and use the discount code 10BUTTER10 to get 10% off your butter order on Amazon. The code is good from June 25 - July 4, 2018.

June 25, 2018

#CookoutWeek Welcome & Giveaway!

#CookoutWeek 2018 is here! During the next week, I am joining over 50 of my blogger friends to celebrate summer by posting delicious cookout-themed recipes. If you love grilling, frozen treats, picnics, berries, s'mores, campfire meals, and other summer goodies... you are in the right place! This week, we are also hosting a HUGE giveaway thanks to our generous #CookoutWeek sponsors. Enter below to win. Here's what one lucky will will receive:

June 22, 2018

June 20, 2018

Salmon burgers with lemon-chipotle mayo

Today I'm sharing these salmon burgers as part of June's Fantastical Food Fight hosted by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. This month's theme is seafood! I love to make salmon patties with canned salmon. I think they are delicious and salmon is so healthy for you (and canned salmon is an economical seafood choice). I was inspired by those patties to make them into something like a burger. Also, I'm so very excited to report that both of my kids ate them (I put ranch on theirs instead of the chipotle mayo). I made the burgers mild because we were feeding two toddlers as well, but otherwise I would have added more chiptole to the burgers themselves (feel free to add a pepper if you like). Making burgers from canned salmon is also a time-saver! They salmon is already cooked and there are no bones - all you need to do is add flavor, form the patties, and give them a quick fry in a skillet. This recipe will make four burgers. I topped ours with lettuce and tomato and served them on a kaiser roll with a side of sliced pickles and roasted local asparagus.