This morning, I broke out my mini-greenhouse and got my garden seedlings planted! That means that spring is here (along with allergies, ugh…) and now I’m patiently waiting for the real weather warm-up to happen so I can play in the dirt everyday and enjoy harvesting […]
I’m just going to hit pause on the awesomely easy summer strawberry salad for a sec… I get to go dancing in two days!!! Maybe that’s not exciting for you, but it is for me 🙂 The hubby and I used to do fun things like take latin dance lessons. Of course, this was before kids when we actually had extra time and extra cash. We (mostly) remember the steps and what we don’t, we improvise and pretend it looks good. Throw in a twirl here and there and everyone thinks you’re great even if you don’t know what you’re doing. Ha! This weekend is my step-brother’s wedding so just as exciting as dancing with my hubby, is dancing with my dear old dad. Growing up, my parents used to belong to a country dance club so every now and then we’d push the kitchen table out of the way and dance until our feet ached and our hearts were full. I’m sure my dad and I will get a good swing going and probably a two-step or two before the night is through. My heart will be full this weekend. I will be seeing a lovely couple get married, celebrate with extended family I haven’t seen for quite some time and will be able to laugh it up, dancing the night away.
Let’s move off the dance floor and back to the summer strawberry salad (I know, less exciting perhaps but so delicious!!!). This is my go-to salad when I need to bring something that everyone is guaranteed to enjoy. It’s also an amazing salad-as-dessert since it has the sweetness of strawberries both in the salad as well as the strawberry poppyseed dressing. Tossed with a little celery and pecans for crunch, the Havarti cheese gives it a little bit of cozy creaminess that says “I’m eating something naughty!”… but you’re not! If you would rather not make the dressing, I’ve found that Marzetti’s makes a great all natural, no preservatives strawberry poppyseed dressing that is quite tasty. You can also use a raspberry vinaigrette or a more creamy poppyseed dressing if you like. All taste wonderful and after a bite of this summer strawberry salad, your heart will be full too!
- 2 cups salad greens (spinach and chopped romaine work well)
- ½ pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 block Havarti cheese, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
- STRAWBERRY POPPYSEED DRESSING:
- ½ pound strawberries
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ c light tasting olive oil
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
- Toss all salad ingredients together.
- Puree salad dressing ingredients except poppyseeds together in a blender. Add poppyseeds and stir.
- Pour dressing generously over salad and eat by the forkful!
It’s my darling husband’s 40th birthday today!! In honor of his big celebration, we had a huge yard party this past weekend with a taco and nacho bar which included fresh salsa, smoky guacamole, chipotle bean dip and chile con queso. We studded the yard with […]
Happy almost Easter! I survived having the kiddos home on Spring break last week and also hosted four of my daughter’s nine-year-old friends for her birthday sleepover. It never fails to surprise me at how rambunctious and LOUD a small group of young girls can […]
I have a confession to make. I’m having an affair. An ooey-gooey, steamy, dirty and delicious love affair with this ricotta spinach artichoke dip. It’s bordering on inappropriate with how often I’ve courted and indulged my taste buds with this dip in the past few weeks. No less than once a week. I blame my sister really… she made a similar dip for me over deer hunting whilst we were widowed for the week and I couldn’t stay away. I improved upon the recipe, naturally, and arrived at this piece of garlicky goodness and perfection on a plate.
To get the creaminess for ricotta spinach artichoke dip, I’ve used a whole milk ricotta and my homemade mayonnaise which has a little less tang (and a fresher flavor in my opinion) than store bought but feel free to use whichever… just be sure it’s real mayo! Add to this a bunch of fresh sautéed spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, garlic and a hit of strong firm cheese like manchego, parmesan or a raw milk cheddar and you’ve got a new mate. Schmeer this on toasted baguettes or any other delicious dippers. Full of veggies, I think this qualifies as a reasonably healthy love affair, wouldn’t you agree?
- 2-3 cups fresh chopped spinach (about ⅓-1/2 cup after wilting)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4-6 artichoke hearts, chopped (about ½ cup after chopping)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup whole milk ricotta
- ¼ cup firm sharp cheese, shredded (manchego, parmesan, raw milk cheddar) plus more for topping if desired.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a frying pan, sauté garlic in butter until fragrant.
- Add chopped spinach and stir fry until wilted and moisture is released. Spinach will reduce to about ⅓-1/2 cup).
- Place wilted spinach in a small bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients to spinach and stir to combine.
- Scoop mixture into a small baking dish.
- Top with additional shredded cheese if desired.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until dip is bubbly and top is lightly browned.
- Serve with toasted baguette or any other dippers.
Can use ⅓ cup frozen spinach with moisture squeezed out instead of fresh.
Adventures in landscaping part 2: I turned my back from my planting project for a moment while the kids were out exploring the outdoor space between the large pine trees which is full of loose dirt perfect for digging and mud pies. I should have known […]
The sun is shining, it’s FRIDAY, it’s inevitably, a great day! These sausage goat cheese mini quiche are great too! Awhile back, I posted a veggie packed savory breakfast mini quiche and it’s such a simple nutritious way to start the day that I decided I […]
It’s nearly time for fall which most of the time makes me quite happy. The kids go back to school leaving me with a slightly more peaceful house. I can’t help but gather the last fruits of the summer as delicious peaches are at the prime of ripeness and those yummy garden greens like spinach and kale are still abundant. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with making smoothies as a wholesome part of my breakfast. This peaches and greens smoothie uses fresh peaches and garden greens combined with a little coconut milk or coconut milk kefir for creaminess. You can always substitute another liquid if you like but the healthy fats in coconut milk just make for a creamy mouth-feel. You know, that good feeling that comes when something creamy coats your tongue and tastebuds in just the right way? Mmmm…. perfect.
This super healthy green guy packs an additional benefit with flax seed providing omega 3’s and antioxidant value. It’s also a great source of fiber and protein so not only are you getting a little sweetness from the banana and peaches, you get the veggie value with the greens and the nuttiness of the ground flaxseed to balance the nutrition and flavor quite nicely.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 peach, sliced
- ½ cup spinach
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your favorite cup and enjoy!