Chocolate Covered Strawberries

chocolate covered strawberries

What is it about having kids that makes you want to celebrate ALL the holidays? Am I alone in this? I have never ever been a fan of Halloween or Valentine’s Day, but I was ALL about a Halloween costume for the little guy a few months back and today I found myself wondering if I should make Valentine’s for Landon to give to a few people.

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Sausage & Apple Stuffed Squash

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This dish just screams fall to me! The squash, the apples, the herbs. Made me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a glass of wine, which is exactly what I did right after eating this 🙂 For the presentation that you get with a stuffed squash, the prep and hands-on time is relatively easy. This makes a great dish on it’s own for dinner, or as a side dish for a dinner party. You could even use a roasted acorn squash to serve your Thanksgiving stuffing, if you really want to get crazy! The other great thing about this recipe, you can easily change up the ingredients that you put inside to tailor it to your own diet or tastes. Add some grains, like cooked rice or quinoa, remove the dairy, change the meat to chicken sausage or add beans for protein instead. The possibilities are endless. So get creative and let me know if you try any substitutions. I’d love to hear about it!!

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Apple Chips

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It finally feels like fall! Like everyday fall, not just a day here and there. I’m going to revel in this for a while because I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m cursing all the rain. Not happy in, not happy out, ya know?

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Frosé (Frozen Rosé)

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Happy Friday friends! What better way to celebrate the weekend than with summer’s hottest (or coolest ;)) drink trend, Frosé! Let me be clear from the start though, this Frosé recipe is a tad different than the rest. Let’s call it skinny Frosé 🙂

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Kale Summer Salad

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I have a confession…I love having friends and family over, hosting dinner parties & BBQs and cooking for lots of people. Problem…I’m not actually very good at it! I mean, the food is great and I’d like to think we create a fun environment but every single time, I spend a lot of the time in the kitchen preparing food and not mingling and hanging with our loved ones. It actually makes me really anxious too, something about people watching me cook, having a messy kitchen and not being able to just enjoy myself.

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Lemon Pepper Flank Steak Tacos w/ Mango Cabbage Slaw

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Both my boys are sleeping at the same time so I finally have some time to post! And by both my boys, I mean my son and my husband. Hubby has been home the last few days; you would think it would be easier for me to get things done when he is home because there is someone else to help take care of the baby. Nope. Somehow, I get way less done. When the baby finally naps we end up watching a movie or making breakfast, just doing things that I wouldn’t normally do during my free time (a.k.a. naptime) when he is at work. I promise I’m not complaining though! Having him home means he gets more time with the baby and seeing and hearing him play with Landon is the sweetest, heart melting thing ever!

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Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

blueberry coconut popsicles

Roller coaster really is the best way to describe this pregnancy. I envy the woman who have had pregnancies with little to no issues because this has been one of the most challenging times in my life thus far. Also, is it normal to feel like you are ALWAYS complaining about being pregnant? I guess this is just my place to vent and get things off my chest…

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Lamb chops w/ fresh fig pan sauce

lamb chops w/ fresh fig sauce
I’m a little crazy for figs right now. Also, I found myself searching for fall décor on Pinterest the other day. It’s not even the end of August! Normally I would be avoiding the idea of fall as much as possible, but this year I’m really excited for it to get here…fall t.v. shows, cozy sweaters and boots, football, fires in the fireplace…I’m really not sure when my “favorite” season changed from summer to fall! Must have been a slow transition when I realized that summer doesn’t necessarily mean being lazy and doing nothing but laying by the pool all day.

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Fresh Fig Galette

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Man! Finally getting this beauty on the blog!! Every time I have a work trip, no matter how short or long, I get so behind on everything. I pack so much into my free time that being away for just a day or two throws me off completely.

So this was the first time I made a galette, it looks beautiful and fancy, but it was actually really easy to make. The best part about a galette is how rustic they are meant to look, so the dough and filling shouldn’t look perfect, you can mess up and it’ll still come out great.

Fresh Fig Galette
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 1/2 Tbsp almond meal
2 Tbsp sugar, divided
3/8 tsp salt
7 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 Tbsp canola oil
3 Tbsp ice water
1 lb fresh figs, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sliced almonds

1. Place flour, almond meal, 1 Tbsp sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a dough blade; pulse to combine. Scatter butter into processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in oil; pulse to combine. Add ice water; pulse just until combined. Turn mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
3. Place figs in a large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and lemon juice; toss gently to combine.
4. Unwrap dough. Roll dough on plastic wrap into a 12-inch circle. Arrange dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon figs onto dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold edges of dough over filling to partially cover. Bake at 400°F for 35 minutes or until fruit juices bubble and crust is browned. Remove from oven, sprinkle with almonds. Cut into 8 wedges.

*Original recipe from Cooking Light

Red White & Blueberry Popsicles

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I made these popsicles last summer for the first time and it is one of my favorite posts. Not only are they delicious, but they are healthy and so cute, all at the same time.

Be warned, when making striped popsicles, it does take a little time because you have to freeze each layer before adding the next but it was so much fun for me to make these over the course of the day. Might be a fun project for little ones to help with on a warm summer day and keep them looking forward to the next step all day long before finally getting to devour these delicious treats.

Everyone have a fun and safe 4th of July, take time to enjoy the family, friends, food and fireworks!

Red White & Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1. Use a food processor to puree the blueberries. If they come out a bit more purple than blue (like mine did) just add a spoonful or two of the Greek Yogurt and a few drops of blue food coloring until you get the desired shade of blue. When you achieve the right color, you want to make sure the fruit is pourable, if it is too thick, try adding a tablespoon of water. You can also puree your raspberries ahead of time, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place pureed raspberries in a separate bowl and keep refrigerated until use.
2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the  blueberry mixture into the bottom of each popsicle mold. After each pour you’ll need to do a little clean up, you don’t want too much extra on the sides of the mold as this will cause your stripes to look a little mangled. Don’t get too fussy because you want it to look a little rustic.
3. Put the mold in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour.
4. Remove molds from freezer and add a small stipe (about 1 tablespoon) of vanilla yogurt to each mold. After you’ve added the first layer of yogurt, insert your popsicle sticks, trying to push them into the layer of blueberry a bit. Hold the sticks in place by placing a piece of tin foil over each mold. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
5. Remove molds from freezer, remove foil and add a small stripe (about 1 tablespoon) of raspberry puree. The sticks should stand on their own at this point so you won’t need the foil any longer.
6. Continue alternating white and red stripes, freezing for 1 hour after each, until you have filled the mold (I had 1 large layer of blueberries, 2 layers of raspberries & 3 layers of yogurt).
7. When you are ready to serve, hold the mold under hot running water to loosen (be careful not to let water splash near the opening), after about 30 seconds you should be able to easily remove the popsicle from the mold.

Plum Tarts

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I had such a great weekend! Some of my best girlfriends came down from Seattle with their hubbies for some wine tasting in the Columbia Gorge. The weather could not have been more perfect, the wineries were stunning, the wine was fabulous (correction…is fabulous, as I’m drinking some right now) and the company, amazing. I have the best group of friends a girl could ask for and being that I don’t see them very often, it was so nice to relax and get caught up.

We did our wine tour through Wine Dirt, which is owned and operated by my friend’s mom, Mary. If you love wine and prefer some knowledge and education with your wine tasting, be sure to check her out. Not only did we taste some great wines at wineries we probably wouldn’t have come across on our own, but Mary has so much knowledge and experience in the wine industry that you leave each winery with a true appreciation for what they do.

I think my favorite winery had to be Syncline Wine Cellars. Their tasting area is situated amongst vineyards and oak trees, complete with Adirondack chairs, picnic tables and hammocks, so you can fully relax while you sip away.

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And now, a yummy Sunday night dinner at home with my hubs followed by an even yummier dessert, these plum tarts with honey & pepper. I know, I know…pepper? On dessert? Yes! The sweetness of the plums and the honey really balance it out, trust me! And, they are so quick and easy to prepare.

Plum Tarts w/ Honey & Pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 pound red plums, cut into 1/2″ wedges
1/4 cup sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp honey
flakey sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Cut pastry into six 4″ squares, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top each square with plums, leaving a 1/2″ border. Sprinkle each square with sugar and a few grinds of pepper.
3. Bake tarts until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
4. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving.

Original recipe from Bon Appétit.

 

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin w/ Cantaloupe & Red Pepper Salsa

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You wouldn’t normally think of cantaloupe for a salsa but it was so light and refreshing. This is a great meal for a summer night when you don’t want to turn on the oven because your house already feels like one, which is every night for me these days. It was also a pretty quick dish to prepare for a weeknight meal (20 minutes to prep and 25 minutes on the grill). I got this recipe from the new July issue of Cooking Light, it’s got tons of great summer recipes and I’m sure you’ll see a few more posted here soon.

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin w/ Cantaloupe & Red Pepper Salsa

For the Salsa
1 cup finely chopped fresh cantaloupe
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Cover and chill while you prep and cook the pork

For the Pork
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
cooking spray or oil for the grill

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Pat pork tenderloin dry with paper towels.
3. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Wrap pork in pancetta, with slices slightly overlapping.
4. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover. Grill 22-25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 170°F, turning occasionally to brown all sides.
5. Slice and plate the pork and top with salsa before serving.

Raspberry Scones

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I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! We spent the holiday at home trying to comfort our anxiety ridden dog from the noise of the fireworks. Our puppy didn’t seem to even notice the noise but our older female dog has a tough time with the holiday every year and spent the entire night under bed. I did, however, happen to get a lot of DIY projects done over the weekend which means some great posts coming your way very soon, including antiqued mirrors and crown molding! Stay tuned for those. I also made my first attempt at homemade scones and am pretty excited with how tasty they are.

I don’t do a ton of baking and am usually a little intimidated by pastries but this recipe was relatively easy to follow so I think it’s good for beginners. I got the recipe from another food blog that I’ve been following religiously in the last few weeks, Food 52. I’m not sure if this is done in all scones recipes but the key to these tasty and moist scones is keeping the butter a bit “chunky” in the dough and not completely mixing it in and also freezing the dough before baking.

Raspberry Scones
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on tops of scones
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup frozen raspberries (or any frozen berries of your choice)
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops of scones
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, place the dry ingredients and pulse to combine. (If you don’t have a food processor, this can be done by hand in a mixing bowl. The food processor just makes step 2 a bit easier)
2. Add the butter and pulse about 10 or so times. You want to retain some chunks of butter, not mix it all in completely. Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl.
3. Gently toss the frozen berries into the flour mixture and lightly coat them. (Using frozen berries and coating them with flour before hand with help to keep them from bleeding as much and turning your dough completely pink)
4. In a large measuring cup, place the heavy cream, egg and vanilla. Mix well and pour into flour mixture. With a dinner fork, fold the wet into the dry as you gradually turn the bowl. It’s a folding motion you are shooting for here, not a stirring motion. When the dough begins to gather, use a plastic bowl scraper to gently knead the dough into a ball (or you may find it easier to use your hands). If there is still a lot of flour at the bottom of the bowl, drizzle a bit more cream, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
5. Transfer the dough ball to a floured cutting board. Gently pat into a 6″ to 7″ circle. With a pastry circle or a large chef’s knife, cut the dough like a pie into 8 triangles.
6. Place the scones on wax-paper lined sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once they are frozen, you can store them in a freezer bag for a few weeks until you’re ready to bake them.
7. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place frozen scones on a parchment-line sheet pan, about 1 inch apart. Brush with cream and sprinkle tops with sugar.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. They are done when the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

These are great to make and freeze ahead of time when you have people coming to stay at your home. Try different mix-in berries and let me know how they turn out!

Red White & Blueberry Popsicles

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These HAVE to be the cutest popsicles you’ve ever seen!!! And a perfect treat for your 4th of July celebration. I got this recipe off of The view from great island, a food blog that I am now obsessed with. She uses bright, colorful foods, has beautiful photographs and makes everything look mouth-watering!

Be warned, when making striped popsicles, it does take a little time because you have to freeze each layer before adding the next but it was so much fun for me to make these over the course of the day. Might be a fun project for little ones to help with on a warm summer day and keep them looking forward to the next step all day long before finally getting to devour these delicious treats.

Red White & Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1. Use a food processor to puree the blueberries. If they come out a bit more purple than blue (like mine did) just add a spoonful or two of the Greek Yogurt and a few drops of blue food coloring until you get the desired shade of blue. When you achieve the right color, you want to make sure the fruit is pourable, if it is too thick, try adding a tablespoon of water. You can also puree your raspberries ahead of time, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place pureed raspberries in a separate bowl and keep refrigerated until use.
2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the  blueberry mixture into the bottom of each popsicle mold. After each pour you’ll need to do a little clean up, you don’t want too much extra on the sides of the mold as this will cause your stripes to look a little mangled. Don’t get too fussy because you want it to look a little rustic.
3. Put the mold in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour.
4. Remove molds from freezer and add a small stipe (about 1 tablespoon) of vanilla yogurt to each mold. After you’ve added the first layer of yogurt, insert your popsicle sticks, trying to push them into the layer of blueberry a bit. Hold the sticks in place by placing a piece of tin foil over each mold. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
5. Remove molds from freezer, remove foil and add a small stripe (about 1 tablespoon) of raspberry puree. The sticks should stand on their own at this point so you won’t need the foil any longer.
6. Continue alternating white and red stripes, freezing for 1 hour after each, until you have filled the mold (I had 1 large layer of blueberries, 2 layers of raspberries & 3 layers of yogurt).
7. When you are ready to serve, hold the mold under hot running water to loosen (be careful not to let water splash near the opening), after about 30 seconds you should be able to easily remove the popsicle from the mold.

Enjoy! And have a safe and happy 4th of July!