This past week was a busy one! My husband’s family was in town from all over the country and it was so much fun catching up with all of them over the week. We had several picnics, dinners and even celebrated the Fourth of July with loads of fireworks at the beach.
Then over the weekend we were with my family and had a somewhat second celebration of the Fourth of July as well. We had such a nice time there as well kayaking, paddle boarding and going for boat rides. I felt like I missed out a lot last summer since I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy and being pregnant in the summer just isn’t ideal, so I’m looking forward to making up for it this summer!
For one of the picnics I made this Cannellini Bean Salad. I wanted to make a dish that was a little light but packed some freshness and flavor. This recipe is fairly simple and the prep time is rather quick since you just have to mise en place some veggies and make the dressing. I hope this offers you a new dish that you can take to a picnic this summer or gives you a new idea for dinner this week.
2 cans of cannellini beans
1/2 orange bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup of cilantro
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Chop all vegetables. Add all chopped up ingredients into bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the first bowl of ingredients. Stir and enjoy!
Every Monday night you can find me on the couch watching The Bachelorette. I don’t know what it is about these reality TV shows but they always suck me in. I have to say that Rachel this season is very poised, intelligent and positive. I’m excited to see who she ends up with.
While I’m watching the show, I love to have dessert. I pretty much have dessert every night which isn’t the best decision for my waistline, but I just love having a treat at the end of the day.
One of my go-to desserts are brownies. Most of the time I will just make them from a box since it’s a lot quicker, but the homemade ones are always so much better.
These brownies that I’m sharing with you are pretty dense but they are packed with chocolate flavor. You could also add chocolate chips in to add a bit more chocolate if the following isn’t enough for you.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Optional chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8×8 inch square pan. In a microwavable bowl melt butter. Remove from microwave, put melted butter into mixing bowl and stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Make sure to add eggs slowly once the mixture has cooled some to avoid getting scrambled eggs. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder. If you like chocolate chips in your brownies feel free to mix them in. Spread the batter into greased pan. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!
Food often creates a sense of nostalgia for me. I can eat a slice of pie and have the crust remind me of the delicious homemade pies my grandma used to make every summer. Or when I eat a chocolate chip cookie, I always think back to the cookies my mom baked for us growing up.
It’s funny how certain scents, sounds or tastes can really remind us or momentarily transport us to a different time or place. I love how specific pastries and dishes do this for me.
One of my all time favorite meals my mom would make was this Spicy Noodle Salad. She didn’t make it too often, but when she did I knew I was in for a treat. It’s sweet with a dash of heat and is loaded with veggies, noodles and chicken and/or shrimp. Eating it definitely takes me back to my childhood.
I’m excited to share the recipe with you in hopes that you will enjoy it as much as I do. This makes a decent amount of servings, so it’s great if you are meal prepping for the week or need to take a meal to a friend.
14 oz. Thin spaghetti
7 Tablespoons Sesame oil
7 Tablespoons Soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chili oil (or less)
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ginger powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic chopped
Cooked chicken and/or shrimp
Cook spaghetti and rinse with cold water. Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with the noodles. Blanch vegetables (of choice: julienne carrots, red pepper, pea pods, broccoli, etc.) until their color is bright. Add veggies into the noodles and toss in cooked chicken and/or shrimp. This salad can be served hot or cold. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
I love JIF peanut butter. There I said it. I know, it’s not the most healthy or “cleanest” version of peanut butter. But I’ve tried the natural and organic brands and I just always end up going back to it. I grew up eating it so maybe it’s comforting or a reminder of my childhood, but I will probably always favor it over other nut butters.
Since we are talking about peanut butter, one of my favorite foods to put peanut butter on is waffles! It’s just the best, you should try it! Unfortunately, I have found that waffles aren’t the most filling breakfast and so I’ve been on a mission to find a more filling option.
Every morning I eat breakfast around 8:30am and then by 10:00 or 11:00am I’m always really hungry and end up eating a snack. Well after eating one of these peanut butter oatmeal bars for breakfast, I was set for the morning!
They are really dense, super easy to make and kept great for several days after I baked them. With how busy life is with an infant and trying to keep up with him and everything else, I’m always happy when I can have a ready to go breakfast at my fingertips.
I followed this recipe exactly. And when I make these again, I plant to add in some chocolate chips just to make them a bit more decadent. Enjoy!
I have been on a bit of a Pinterest kick these days. Anytime I’m looking for a new recipe to try I end up on Pinterest. It always seems to be such a great resource for me, and I’ve surprisingly had more successes than fails when it comes to recreating recipes from there. On a side note, my husband somehow finds the best “Pinterest Fails,” you know those before and after photos that end up circulating on social media of how the result looks nothing like the Pinterest photo, and sends them to me and they always make me laugh!
This recipe I’m sharing with you today was created from a photo I saw on Pinterest and I promise this won’t be a Pinterest Fail! The photo inspired an appetizer that I actually took to a New Years Eve party a few months back. I like these appetizers so much because they are simple to make, are bite size and contain a bit of protein so you aren’t just eating empty carbs. And as an added bonus they are gluten-free. I think these would be great for taking to a happy hour event or even at a Cinco de Mayo party.
Depending on what you have in your pantry, these shrimp taco bites could include other ingredients such as salsa, black bean or refried beans. But I kept it pretty simple as they really are quite flavorful by just following my recipe below.
30 small shrimp (cleaned, deveined & tail removed)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Handful of cilantro
Bag of Tostitos Scoops
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium to high heat. Add in shrimp, season with taco seasoning and cook 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. While the shrimp cools, place the individual chip scoops on your serving platter. In each scoop add a piece or two of cilantro and a drop of sour cream to hold the cilantro leafs in place. Cut open the avocado and cut it up into small bite size pieces. Place a piece of avocado on top of the sour cream in each scoop. Then add a shrimp on top of each bite. Makes approximately 30 bites. Enjoy!