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Showing posts from 2018

Blueberry Mandarin Spice Iced Tea Popsicles

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It's National Iced Tea Day!  I'm going to throw this out there and admit that push comes to shove, I'm definitely an iced coffee girl.   When this event was announced, I decided I wanted to jump in and get out of my comfort zone a bit.   There's one type of tea that I love, and it's the kind that's served at Chinese restaurants.  The closest thing I've found to it is the Mandarin Spice from Celestial Seasonings.  And what goes better with orange than blueberries?  We've still got a ways to go before we can get them locally, but the ones at the grocery have been pretty good lately.

There's a few steps to this, but they all go quickly. First, I made a blueberry simple syrup by combining sugar, water, and blueberries. Normally it's a 1:1 ratio, but my berries were very tart, so I used 3/4c sugar and 1/2c water.  I was lucky to find some mandarin oranges at the market, so I zested one and added that to the syrup too. You can use a regular small oran…

Fresh Strawberry Salsa

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June is National Fruits & Vegetables Month! The thing I most look forward to in June is strawberries.   We're very lucky to live around lots of farms, and we make going to pick a family outing.   Usually we bring home somewhere around 15 pounds.   We leave some for snacking, a bunch gets turned into jam, and then I like to try a handful of new recipes.   One of this year's picks is this Fresh Strawberry Salsa from Taste of Home.

I made some very minor changes to the recipe. I'm not a fan of green bell pepper, so I used red and orange. I had beautiful heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes on hand, so I quartered them up and used those. I had serranos, so I used those instead of the Anaheim.  Sadly, I am in the "cilantro tastes like soap" camp, so I used fresh parsley instead.

This is such a great dish.  So fresh and colorful.  I love all of the textures and flavors.  It's great on top of chicken in a wrap or on it's own with some tortilla chips.   Thank y…

Inside Out Veggie Dip

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The weather is heating up here, and I've been searching the Taste of Home site and my magazines for meals and snacks that are delicious and filling, but not heavy.   This Inside Out Veggie Dip fit the bill nicely.


I made some small changes.  I used Greek yogurt cream cheese, omitted the green onions because I forgot to buy them, and garnished with some dried parsley.  You definitely can change up the veggies any way you like, those mini bell peppers would be perfect for filling too.  Bermuda onion would give the filling some beautiful color. The cream cheese mixture was also amazing on crackers and bagels.

This is a super quick to put together recipe, but it looks so fancy.  It would be great for showers, summer gatherings, or just sitting barefoot out on the patio with a good book.  I'll definitely be making this one a lot, thank you so much to Judie T. for sharing her recipe!


On Tuesdays I like to share what myself and my other fellow Volunteer Field Editors from Taste of H…

Cheesy Black Bean Nachos

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June is #DairyMonth and today is #NationalCheeseDay! What is better than hot melty cheese? Not a lot! So many of my favorite dishes are made with cheese, like nachos.  We all love them, but the guys are pretty boring in that they just like the chips and cheese.   I like toppings, and lots of them, and don't forget the sour cream on the side!   Traditionally I see nachos with refried beans, and I'm not particularly a fan.  I ran across this recipe from Taste of Home on Pinterest, and loved that it used black beans instead.

I used cherry tomatoes instead of the canned, it was what I had on hand.  I seeded and sliced the jalapenos per the recipe, but they weren't spicy enough for me that way.  Next time I'll definitely just slice them.   The rest of the toppings were perfect. Crunchy chips, cool tomatoes, a little heat from the peppers, plus the protein-packed beans.   Thank you so much to Cynthia N. for her awesome recipe!

Thank you so much to Camilla from Culinary Adven…

Fiery Cinnamon Whisky BBQ Burger

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*This is a sponsored post.  I received products for use in the creation of my #BurgerMonth recipe.  All opinions are my own.*

So excited to be a part of Girl Carnivore's #BurgerMonth event this year! It's a happy day when the snow has finally melted and I can get to the grill again.   This year it seemed to take far longer than usual, so we've been enjoying it even more now that the weather has been cooperative.

This burger is something that I've been working on for a while now. It started from a chicken sandwich that I get from a local restaurant chain that I cloned at home.  I love the sauce and the flavors so much that I decided to try them on a burger. I've always made them with cheddar cheese, but Cabot sent us an amazing variety of cheeses, and the pepper jack called to me.  I also added a new product I discovered, French's Crispy Jalapenos.




Remember that cooperative weather I referred to earlier?  Well, on the day that I had chosen to make my burger, the…

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Honey Rum Grilled Banana Split

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from sponsors to use in creating #BBQWeek recipes. However, all opinions are mine alone.

Today is the final day of #BBQWeek, and what an awesome week it has been!  I know that my summer menu just got a whole lot better!  I wanted to end the week off with a dessert, and there were so many great choices on the Taste of Home website, I had a hard time choosing.  I saw this recipe for Honey Rum Grilled Bananas from Lori W., and it sounded just perfect with the beautiful weather we've been having.

I upped the ante a little bit, and instead of just serving it with ice cream, I added some of the traditional banana split flavors: pineapple, strawberry, chocolate shavings, whipped cream and cherries. The guys had theirs with all three flavors of ice cream, but I went straight vanilla bean.  They also used hot fudge instead of the shaved dark chocolate. You definitely could go ahead and grill the strawberries an…

All American Hamburgers

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from sponsors to use in creating #BBQWeek recipes. However, all opinions are mine alone.

There's nothing my guys love more than a good burger! They're pretty much a weekly staple from May until the snow gets too deep that I can't get to the grill anymore :)  I love finding new things to add as toppings or to the meat to change them up.   These All American Hamburgers from Taste of Home have great flavor and use simple ingredients that I always have on hand.  Sometimes I substitute dried minced onion for the fresh.  I have a square burger press that I love, and makes perfectly even patties. The key is really take care and not overwork the patties, and once you've got them on the grill, resist the urge to smush them with the spatula, or to flip them excessively.

I cook them for 2 to 3 minutes, rotate them a quarter turn, then cook them for 2 to 3 more.  Flip, and repeat, adding the cheese aft…

Jersey Style Hot Dogs

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from sponsors to use in creating #BBQWeek recipes. However, all opinions are mine alone.

I can't believe we're halfway through #BBQWeek already!  I'm pinning and printing recipes like crazy, and I hope you are too.  My recipe for today is another winner from Taste of Home, Jersey Style Hot Dogs.   Hot dogs are  such an easy meal to whip up, but they're a tough sell for my guys.  I'm constantly looking for ways to switch them up.  I love peppers and onions with Italian sausage, so I knew this would be a hit too.

I only made one change to the recipe, and that was the type of potatoes.  I had an overload of red potatoes on hand, so that's what I used. Some people look at the picture and see pickles.  Maybe it will be the next internet sensation, like the "What color is the dress?" thing that was going around a while back.  Do you see pickles or potatoes? Okay, maybe not. LOL

Crunchy Cool Coleslaw

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from sponsors to use in creating #BBQWeek recipes. However, all opinions are mine alone.

Hope you are enjoying #BBQWeek so far, I know I am! A barbecue isn't complete without some awesome side dishes, and coleslaw is a pretty popular one. Since I'm not a fan of mayo, I've never really made or eaten coleslaw before.  I saw this recipe on the Taste of Home site, and thought I'd give it a try.

I made slight changes to the recipe, using the red, orange, and yellow peppers I had on hand. I also subsituted pepitas instead of nuts. It all comes together so quickly, the peppers and apple make it so colorful, and the dressing is light and tastes great.  Thank you so much to Elaine H. for sharing her recipe!

Be sure to go and check out all the other recipes from my #FestiveFoodie friends, and don't forget to enter for your chance to win one of the amazing prize packs from our sponsors! For info…

Chicken and Aspraragus Grilled Pizza

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek. I received product samples from sponsors to use in creating #BBQWeek recipes. However, all opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to #BBQWeek! Nice weather has finally arrived in New England, and it's been so great to be able to get outside and grill.  I've been making grilled pizza for a few years now, and there are so many ways that can switch it up! I buy premade dough from the local place or grocery store, but you definitely can make your own if you like.  The key is to oil the grill grates well, and to have all of your toppings ready to go.

Sweet Peas Parma

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It's Taste of Home Tuesday! I pinned this recipe a while back, hoping to make it with fresh spring peas.  Sadly, an extended winter has put all produce a bit behind, and I really wanted to get this on the menu.   Using the "steam in bag" frozen pease makes it super fast and easy. One other slight change, and that was to use a handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered instead of a medium tomato. I loved the colors it added.  The cripsy proscuitto was amazing, it was hard not to eat it all straight out of the pan.  Before I would have counted frozen peas as on the lower end of my favorite vegetables list, but this recipe definitely changed that. Thank you so much to Jill A. for sharing it!

On Tuesdays, I like to share what some of my fellow Volunteer Field Editors have been making.  This week, Angela made 2 dishes from one recipe,Low & Slow Pork Verde and Land of Enchantment Posole! Do you have an amazing recipe you'd like to submit to Taste of Home? Follow thi…

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches

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And they're off!  Today is the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, commonly referred to as the most exciting two minutes in sports. While I know nothing about odds and favorites to win the race, I do know that there are certainly recipes that are always found in the Winner's Circle when it comes to Derby Day. For my contribution to today's festivities, I chose the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich. Since I've never made or eaten one before, I turned the Taste of Home website search.

I made some slight changes to the recipe.  I used 15 grain bread, it's just what I have on hand. I used sliced roasted turkey instead of the deli meat.  Since the heirloom variety of tomatoes I purchased were so huge, I only did one slice per sandwich.  My roux got a little dark in the pan, but it's absolutely delicious. I love all the different flavors and textures.

Thank you so much to Ellen from Family Around the Table for hosting, and to all the other Festive Foodies for sharing the…