Friday, July 29, 2016

Pasta Salad Loaded With The Good Stuff

This is one of those posts I feel I need to apologize for before I even begin- the pictures are awful.


Every once in awhile there's a dish I really want to share with you but I'm too tired or busy to play with lighting and all of that and I just zip through it.  Just know that this salad is tasty enough that I wanted to share it with you despite how ugly these pictures are!

Several years ago-
ok, more than several years ago- twelve years ago, I think it was.  I'm getting old...
Anyway, back when I was young I was a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding.  She and I were stationed together in the Air Force in Columbus, MS- she was from just outside of Tuscaloosa- an hour away- so I got to know her family and friends pretty well.  She enlisted hoping to see the world and they pretty much sent her right back home, go figure!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Former Supermoms and Delicious Cookies

When my daughter was in kindergarten I was kind of super mom when it came to making her lunches.  I was new at being a stay-at-home mom as my son was still an infant and I kept myself CRAZY busy in the kitchen.  Everything in her lunch was homemade.  I made little kid-size pizzas with homemade dough and homemade sauce and then froze them so I could pull them out and send them in her lunches.  I made little mini muffins.  I made french toast on weekday mornings.

I made cookies.

Not just any cookies, but thick, gooey, chocolatey cookies.
Cookies that were big enough for her to split with her friends.
These things were what cookie dreams were made of.

And do you know what?
She hated it.
All of it.
Not because the food was bad but because she wanted what everyone else had.  She wanted fruit snacks and Lunchables and sugar water drinks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cool & Creamy Cucumber Spread Bites

I didn't try goat cheese until I was an adult but it was love at first bite.  I remember that first bite of warm, creamy cheese crusted in ground pecans on top of my already delicious salad.  SO GOOD.  When my favorite restaurant removed that selection from the menu I honestly could have cried...though to be fair, I'm pretty sure that was during the pregnant-and-crying-over-cob-salad days. :-)
 Goat cheese is a lot like cream cheese, but tangier without being overpowering.  It's kind of like a cross between feta and cream cheese actually.  Not that I'm a cheese expert or anything.

It's scrumptious in salad.  Tantalizing on a pizza.  Perfect on it's own with crackers.  Delicious in an omelet.  Delectable with fruit.  If you haven't tried Trader Joe's Wild Blueberry and Vanilla Chèvre you are missing out my friend.
Ok I'll stop.
But there is absolutely nothing not to like about goat cheese.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Caprese Farro Salads and Endless Grains

Well guys, I still have a ridiculous number of weird grains in my pantry.  Ok, weird grains might not really be a fair description- more like wonderful and underutilized grains.

I've tried to cook my way through them (thank goodness they have an insane shelf life!) but no matter how many ways I find to use them they're still there.  Have you ever been to a restaurant and been served a ginormous salad and no matter how much you eat it doesn't seem like you've made a dent?
No...that's just me?  Ok, well it's just like that.  I cook and cook and cook and cook and it's like freaking Strega Nona's pot in there.  Never-ending grains.

Thankfully- and if you've been following along with my postings for any amount of time you know this already- I'm a bit obsessed with interesting side dishes.  I just love mixing things up and trying out new ways to accompany meals, and fun new grains are always a great addition.  I've already written about a delicious Farro Salad with Asparagus and Parmesan and Barley Lime Fiesta Salad, so it's pretty obvious that I'm a fan of grain salads.  When I worked with Swanson a few months ago and was asked to create a recipe using their broth I knew that I was going to get a little creative and make- yet another- yummy salad and work on using up some of those grains in the pantry!

Monday, July 25, 2016

S'mores Pretzel Bites and Busy Summer Days

This summer has definitely been a juggling act- I want to be this fun, active mom who plans great day trips full of picnics and great summer memories.  Sometimes I succeed- more often I don't.  While I started out this summer aiming for our weeks to be jam packed with adventures in reality we've been adventuring far less than I had planned.  Between popcorn and housework I'd say I'm averaging a trip to the pool, an out of town adventure, and maybe a library outing a week.

 Life just gets in the way sometimes.
What can you do, right?

Anyway life has also gotten in the way of keeping up with blogging- but not of cooking (still have to feed a family even when things are busy!) so I have a lot of writing to catch up on!

I was looking through recipes this morning searching for some dinner inspiration and I noticed that a few more of my recipes have been published on Allrecipes without me noticing!  Better yet, they've all been reviewed a time or two already.  It's always fun to think about perfect strangers out there making something you've created in their own kitchens somewhere out there.  I may have a bit of a backlog of recipes to share with you, but I'll get through them- starting with these S'mores Pretzel Bites.