Now that the weather is getting cooler and will be downright cold before we know it we’re switching from cold cereal to warmer breakfasts like oatmeal. Besides being REALLY good for you you can add just about any flavor to it you like. Right now I have pumpkin on the brain. Pumpkin + Oatmeal = a wicked good baked pumpkin pie oatmeal. Happy kids. Happy me. I blame Thanksgiving and fall for my pumpkin obsession. I’m not quite sure why I save my pumpkin binge solely for this time of year. But that’s a conversation for another day.
If you’re looking for a way to jazz up a simple vanilla panna cotta dessert we have a refreshing option. Mango Panna Cotta. We absolutely adore mangos in our house. My kids eat them like they were candy. And I’m okay with that because mangos are sweet, juicy, and are packed full of vitamins and nutrients. I can’t cut them open fast enough for my kids to enjoy. Lucky for me some varieties are available year round.
Sometimes a girl just needs a nice big sandwich (or is it just me?) To me the bread is JUST as important as the filling. I like mine with a little crunch on the outside, where you have to wipe away the crumbs after each bite. Then once you’ve broken through the crust you’re rewarded with a nice and pillowy soft inside. CIABATTA fits that bill for me. Every. Single. Time. Baking bread is incredibly rewarding. From kneading it (or letting Ruby do it for me), to watching it rise, to smelling it in the oven and diving in when I can’t wait any longer for it to cool. I’m a little light headed just thinking about it. Don’t even get me started on warm bread with a smidge of butter.
If you know me you know I love my coffee. There are few foods and beverages that I am selective persnickety about, coffee is one of them. I am spoiled. I admit that. I have had coffee in Italy for years. I know what it should taste like. I know what it should smell like. Look like. We owned a Saeco Magic DeLuxe that we adored. I very rarely would drink coffee outside of my home because it just didn’t measure up. We pushed that button on our beloved Saeco every morning, afternoon and some nights for years. Until, sniff sniff, she went kaput. It was a sad day until our new SAECO XELSIS arrived.
Today is the kind of day that this pizza would have come in handy for dinner. It’s been a doozy. If you didn’t know Go Daddy had a major problemo today causing half of the world’s websites (okay maybe not that many) to go down. My little places on the virtual world included. Now finally all seems to be right in the virtual universe again and I can share this little gem of a pizza with you. So perhaps it could be tomorrow night’s dinner. Or the next busy night’s dinner. You decide.
Yes that would be a grilled squash blossom pizza and no I haven’t lost my mind ; ) I realize it’s a little different, okay a lot different, from your typical pizza but I think it’s worth the jump into the uncharted pizza territory if you haven’t tried it before. Squash blossoms aren’t just for making squash, pfft they’re amazing stuffed (both sweet and savory) and even better on pizza! They’re beautiful, delicate, dainty and perfect with a mound of fresh mozzarella. If you don’t have your own garden you can find these at your local farmer’s market when squash is in season.
I love bread. There’s no if, ands or buts about it, I LOVE bread. If there is bread on the table I’m going to eat it. If there’s bread baking, I’ll wait for it. For me a loaf of homemade bread straight out of the oven slathered with a little buttah is heavenly. With a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, swoon. Add some herbs to that olive oil and back off. Hello my name is Paula and I am a full blown carbaholic. Glad I got that off my chest.
My kids absolutely adore Ranch Dressing. I always joke they would put it on anything if I would let them. That’s how much they love it. One of their favorite ways to eat it is as a dipping sauce with carrots. It’s a snack that I definitely don’t mind feeding them.
Guess what? There happens to be a new bottle of Ranch in town. New Hidden Valley for Everything gives you Original Ranch flavor that is thicker and creamier. So squeeze it everywhere you would put ketchup on all your favorite foods and give burgers, fries, wings — basically everything — a definite delectable upgrade! It makes everything ranch-ilicious!
I have a confession to make. This is my first lobster roll ever. EVER. Before getting started, I did a little research online googling and people are very passionate about lobstah rolls. There seems to be a lot of “discussion” about the “right” way to make one. Passionate fussing discussions. From what I gathered there is the Maine Lobster Roll that includes mayo and celery and then there is the Connecticut lobster roll which is butter based. Since I’m not a huge fan of mayo (GASP much to my family’s chagrin) I took the butter road. You’re not surprised are you?
I have had a love affair with King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls for as long as I can remember. They’re soft, sweet and irresistible. I could pop them into my mouth all day long. But that would not be good would it. Sadly no. Sniff sniff. Instead of They’re the perfect size to transform into sliders or bite sized sandwiches. Making them an awesome party appetizer, snack or even a light lunch.
Now that school is out and the temperatures have skyrocketed summer has officially entered the building. For me that means it’s the perfect time to break out the grill and invite friends and family over for get togethers. Grilling not only makes the food taste fantastic, it helps keep the house COOL and dishes to a minimum (you know how much I loathe doing dishes).
Susan and I are co-hosting a virtual dessert pot luck with a few of our uber talented friends. We’ll each be showcasing one fabulously flexible FlexiPan. I made layered Strawberry and Vanilla Panna Cotta in my Round Tray Flexipan! Who wants a bite? People that have never made panna cotta always assume that it’s fussy and difficult to make. Of course they’d think this because restaurants charge out the wazoo for this dessert when in fact the big secret is that it couldn’t be simpler. It’s almost scandalous isn’t it? With a little cream, sugar and gelatin you’re on your way to making one of the easiest and creamiest desserts on the planet.
We’re all crazy busy these days. Somtimes I even think that our summer schedule is more hectic than the school year schedule (go figure). I know for me, our insanely hectic schedule often makes it hard to maintain a healthy diet and manage a balanced lifestyle. Consuming a diet rich in nutrients is important to give us all the energy and nutrition we need to help get through the day. Florida Orange Juice is a step in the right direction.
Summer time in our house means we drink a lot of Lipton’s Iced Tea. Typically it’s sweet iced tea (we do live in the South y’all). But now we’re going to be adding a new mix to our mix ; ) I recently was sent samples of Lipton’s new Lipton Tea & Honey to try. Instead of sugar it’s sweetened with, you guessed it, HONEY! It’s a cinch to make, no boiling, no stepping, just tear open one of the pouches, add water and stir. Simple right?
Our crazy busy schedules often make it challenging to maintain a healthy diet and manage a balanced lifestyle, but consuming a diet rich in nutrients is important to give us the energy and nutrition we need to help conquer the day.
Nationally recognized nutrition expert, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, has partnered with the Florida Department of Citrus to offer some practical tips to work healthy habits into your spring routine – from the kitchen, to the gym, to your outdoor patio – to help you get the most out of the season.
What makes me happy about grilling is that it brings a much more relaxed casual atmosphere to meals. It brings my family and friends together and gets us out of the house and into the fresh air. There’s nothing like the smell of food being cooked on the grill. You can smell it for miles away (good and bad LOL) and of course the taste. That little bit of smoke and char ups the flavor ante in a big way.
Grilling season is here! Grills and grill pans aren’t just for burgers. Not that a juicy burger isn’t fantastic, ’cause they are BUT I’ve learned that you can put just about anything on a grill. Grilled fruits and vegetables are some of my favorite foods to grill. Grilled peaches oh yeah. Grilled avocados. Oh Mamma. Grilled endive. Yes please. It’s easy peasy and is the perfect accompaniment to a steak. Go ahead, and give it a whirl sizzle!
I am a feeder. I LOVE having people over for dinner. I’ve never been able to cook for just our family. I blame my Mom for that ; ) Or maybe it was my Dad’s fault because he was always dragging GI’s over for dinner and she had to cook for an unexpected crowd . Anyway I get it honestly. Since I can’t physically have you all over we’ll have to settle for virtual dinner parties. Today you’re in luck Susan and I are co-hosting a virtual pot luck with a few of our fabulously talented friends. We’ll each be showcasing the Celtic wonder that is Kerrygold butter and cheese.
Having company over shouldn’t be stressful. I love to have a few nibblers out when my guests arrive so that we can catch up while I’m finishing up dinner and they don’t starve to death. I have a list of go to appetizers that I love to use depending on the season (and let’s face it how much time I have to prep) but one of the simplest and easiest is a no cook appetizer tray! It literally takes less than 3 minutes to pull together and will make you look like a supah star!
This post brought to you by Leviton. All opinions are 100% mine.
Do you love DIY projects or just like to save a little money and do things around the house yourself? We have a really snappy new product to tell you about. Renu is the smart new collection of switches, dimmers and outlets with faces that can be updated easily for a new look anytime! We are smack dab in the middle of a complete kitchen reno ourselves so this product introduction couldn’t have come at a better time. Our outlets and switches are currently white and we have painted our cabinets black. So not a pretty match. Bingo! Renu to the rescue.