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A food blog to enliven your family meals

Apple-Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Fried Shallots

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 20 comments

This Apple-Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Fried Shallots gives you a double dose of apples – once in the vinaigrette and then again in the salad itself! 

Apple-Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Fried Shallots Ever had a meal at a restaurant that you were dying to recreate once you came home? That’s the inspiration for this salad which stayed with me for months after I first fell in love with it. 

Every year, my friend, D, and I celebrate our birthdays at fun “chick restaurants” where we leisurely nosh our way through the evening and catch up on all things critical and trivial. We sampled a version of this Apple-Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Fried Shallots at my birthday meal earlier this year, and now that apple season has arrived, I knew it was time to move it from memory to reality. 

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Chinese Stir-Fried Green Beans

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads, Sponsored | 6 comments

Stumped for a new way to serve green beans? These Chinese Stir-Fried Green Beans are a savory twist on an old favorite. 

Farmer's Market - Garnish with Lemon

I remember going to the “farmer’s market” as a kid in Nebraska. 

Once a week during the last half of summer, a handful of farmers would line up their pickup trucks in the local mall parking lot and sell sweet corn from the back of their trucks. Occasionally there would be other produce, mostly tomatoes, peppers, maybe some homemade canned pickles or a freshly baked good like a roll or pie. 

If you wanted some of our famous “Norfolk melons”, you’d have to drive a few miles out of town to where the farmer parked his truck on the side of the road. It was truly the definition of “farm to table”.  

Farmer's Market - Garnish with Lemon

Today I live in a large suburb of the Twin Cities, and we have a fantastic farmer’s market at the community center just about a mile from my house with a dizzying array of local goods available for sale. But it’s definitely more than just a place to buy fresh produce. There are food trucks, lawn games, kiddie crafts and live music at the bandshell. They even have themed weeks with attractions such as classic car shows. My kids love to go because there is so much to see and do. I love the quality and variety of produce available, everything from exotic Asian vegetables (that I have to ask the vendor how to use) to the standard summer classics like potatoes, onions and green beans. 

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Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in All, Main Dishes, Sides and Salads, Sponsored | 0 comments

Add a little variety to the lunch box with Southwestern Quinoa Salad.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Lunches for school: My biggest challenge every year.

Raise your hand if you have this same dilemma.

I’ve shared with you before about Charlie’s expansive palate, which makes packing a variety of things in his lunch pretty easy. Some days, he even asks for a GREEN SALAD. Oh, my heart, that boy!

And then there is Greta, who happens to be a little pickier. However, the one thing that Greta cannot get enough of is quinoa. Who would have thunk that? Not me; it still surprises me to this day. I started making this Southwestern Quinoa Salad this summer, and it’s her new favorite. It’s also now at the top of her school lunch requests. Coming from a girl whose knee jerk reaction to anything is chocolate, this is something big!

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Hot Bacon Caprese Salad

Posted by on Aug 2, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 2 comments

Bacon on a Caprese Salad? Yes, please!  

Hot Bacon Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is one of my all time favorites, especially during the summer months when tomatoes and basil are so ripe and plentiful. I knew when I saw this recipe for Hot Bacon Caprese Salad that it was destined to be in my kitchen…as in 2 days after finding the recipe. Yes, it happened that fast, but man, oh, man, was it good! So tasty, in fact, that I had to share this bacony goodness with you.

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Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 14 comments

This tangy Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce puts a summery spin on a family favorite. 

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

My mom was kind enough to host our family and Pat’s family for Father’s Day last month. There were 11 of us total, so not a huge group, but a wide variety of ages, including toddlers. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to serve a diverse group of people, especially when kids and adults are eating together since tastes of those two age groups usually differ vastly. I really loved what my mom came up with to deal with this dilemma, so much that I had to share it with you: the sauce bar. She grilled several pork tenderloins and placed the meat on the buffet with three different sauces, including this tasty Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

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Zucchini Feta Fritters

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in All, Appetizers, Sides and Salads | 14 comments

Cash in on your summer abundance of zucchini with these crispy Zucchini Feta Fritters. 

Zucchini Feta Fritters

I’m kicking myself that we didn’t plant a garden this year. 

With our obnoxiously long winter, all I did for months was lust after the garden catalogs that filled my mailbox. Then May happened. Or I assume it happened because I don’t remember much of it. What a whirlwind month for us! There were first communions, birthdays, new jobs, mother’s day, travel, end of school projects. Oh, and the snow finally melted. What remained of my yard was nothing short of U-G-L-Y. Suffice to say, it required a lot of hard work and TLC. Then we entered monsoon season here (seriously, what’s with this weather?), and all that I managed to plant were some flowers and a few herbs in-between rainstorms. 

It’s now too late in the growing season now to plant much of anything produce-wise, so I’m going to rely on my local farmer’s market to get my veggie fix. And as anyone who harvests zucchini knows, you can never have enough zucchini recipes. Allow me to introduce to you my latest zucchini love: Zucchini Feta Fritters

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