Summer has arrived in Tennessee — it’s sunny, it’s humid, and it’s predicted to be over 90 degrees every day for the foreseeable future. Even though lots of people loathe hot weather like this, I actually don’t mind it. As long as I have access to plenty of shade, some air conditioning, and cool beverages, I feel pretty comfortable. And steamy weather like this always inspires me to try out some new refreshing drink recipes — like this spritzer, with pineapple juice, lime juice, coconut water, + sparkling water.
This drink was super delicious, incredibly refreshing, and so easy to make. A little tart, a little citrusy, a little sweet, and unbelievably satisfying on a hot day. It’s definitely going to be my go-to drink for summer parties and cookouts this year! I love that it has a slightly fancy taste + look that makes it perfect for parties, but it truly is no more difficult to make than a pitcher of lemonade. It is fantastic just as written, and it would be excellent with a splash of rum added, if you’re wanting something a little more decadent. So, if you’re looking to jazz up the drink menu at your next summer cookout, give this simple, wonderful spritzer a try!
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My (newly!) TWO-year-old daughter has recently learned a new phrase: Ice Cream Truck! We moved into our current home less than a year ago, and little did we know that we’re apparently on the daily route for the neighborhood ice cream truck. When we’re out playing in the backyard, we can hear its tell-tale music approaching, and my little lady excitedly says “ice cream truck! ice cream truck!” And while I don’t mind letting her have an occasional treat from the truck, I prefer giving her something a little bit healthier, and a little bit more homemade. And that is how I stumbled across this recipe for Banana-Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt. It combines three of her favorite foods simply and quickly to make a delicious, satisfying, hot weather treat.
While this is just as scrumptious and creamy as store-bought ice cream, it’s healthier and more natural than many of the ice cream truck’s options, and super simple to make, with a mere three ingredients. It’s wonderfully balanced, with richness from the peanut butter, a tart bite from the Greek yogurt, and natural sweetness from the bananas. The three ingredients are all familiar enough to my daughter that they made the frozen yogurt an instant hit with her, yet they’re complex enough together that this isn’t merely “kid food” — it’s appealing to adults, too. So, if you and your family are looking for a wonderful homemade frozen treat to cool you down on these hot summer days, give this awesome recipe a try!
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As many of you know, we LOVE Mexican and Southwestern food in our household and eat it frequently. However, I tend to make the same few dishes over and over again to serve with it (Cilantro-Lime Rice, Mexican Rice, and black beans). They’re super delicious, BUT I’ve been wanting to change things up. So, I took to my Facebook page earlier this spring, and asked for ideas. And WOW, you all came up with some wonderful ones — from calabacitas to elote to papas y mas. (Click here to read all of them). One suggestion in particular called out to me immediately: Sopa de Fideo, which is essentially a Mexican tomato noodle soup. So, I did some research on it, looked through a ton of recipes, and made a version for my family and I to try.
And wow, this soup was incredible! This is total comfort food for me, as it combines some of my favorite things: soup, pasta, and citrus. The broth is slightly thick, due to the starch released from the pasta, which gives it a rich, hearty consistency without needing butter or cream. The pasta is tender + wonderfully flavorful from toasting it in oil. And the tomato-lime-cilantro flavors of the soup are bright, tangy, and wonderfully balanced. I can’t believe it took me 30+ years to try Sopa de Fideo, and I’m going to make up for lost time by eating it constantly from now on. =) Thank you to reader Norma for suggesting this amazing soup, and to all the other commenters for your fabulous ideas — I’m working my way through your suggestions, one by one!
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Today, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?
This month I was assigned Sew You Think You Can Cook, a fantastic blog full of SO many tasty-looking recipes. One recipe particularly jumped out at me — this Pineapple Fried Rice — because I had fresh pineapple that needed using up, and I *always* seem to have leftover cooked rice in the fridge. I gathered up the rest of the ingredients + got cookin’. And y’all, this might be the most delicious fried rice I’ve ever eaten. The combination of flavors + textures is truly perfect. The sweet, juicy, caramelized pineapple contrasts beautifully with the salty soy, the spicy ginger, and the slightly-crunchy savory veggies. While I usually think of fried rice as a side dish, this is hearty, filling, and well-rounded enough to stand alone as a (meat-free) main dish. If you do prefer it as a side dish, it would work wonderfully alongside Asian-inspired chicken, pork, or fish.
Thank you to Lauren for introducing me to this truly fabulous fried rice + to the Secret Recipe Club for connecting me, yet again, with fantastic bloggers + amazing recipes! For all my previous Secret Recipe Club recipes, click here – there are TONS of awesome ones!
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I cannot stand wasting things. Most days, my lunch consists of leftovers, because I hate throwing out tasty food. (Thankfully, I love leftovers so this isn’t much of a chore). When I use up a wedge of Parmesan, I always save the rind (to use for flavoring soups + stews). When I make recipes, preference is given for those that use the entire vegetables, not just part of them (like this awesome Spring Vegetable Pasta).
However, one food consistently challenges my non-wastefulness: broccoli. Despite my best intentions, I almost always use only the florets, and wind up discarding the stems/stalks. I actually like the stalks, but my husband and daughter only eat the tree-like tops. And a woman can only eat so many broccoli stalks by herself! I always cringe when I throw out a perfectly good bunch of broccoli stalks, so I made it my recent goal to prepare them in a way that the whole family would enjoy. And my favorite discovery so far is this AMAZING Shaved Broccoli Stalk Salad with Lime + Feta. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a salad, but this one is truly worth sharing.
It’s fresh and bright and crunchy and citrusy and delicious. The still-slightly-crunchy, paper-thin broccoli ribbons soak up the tart lime juice and rich olive oil, and the crumbles of feta add a perfect creamy, salty note. This is truly one of the most addictive salads I’ve ever eaten. Even though the recipe says it serves two, I could easily polish off the entire plate myself. =) So, next time you find yourself about to throw out yet another bunch of broccoli stems, I beg you to stop + make this salad! I think it might just make a broccoli stalk lover out of you. =)
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