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Simple & Refreshing Fruit Salad

Well hello there folks! I gotta tell ya, this last week has been one to test my patience. So, like everyone I’m sure has done at least once in their life, I had all of my future blog content stored all in one place! Easier to find if it’s in one place right? Yea well, do yourselves a favor right now, just stop reading and take a minute, go back up all of your important files! No really, go ahead. I’ll wait…….

You’ll thank me later. See, what I did, was I accidentally deleted ALL of my future blog posts. All the pictures, and wonderful things I wanted to bring to you all, GONE in an instant! However, good news, I have pretty much recovered, and can start bringing you new yummies!! I mean, I’m still sad over losing all of that work, but hey… I bounced back, and I am here with a stupid easy fruit salad. It’s actually embarrassing to even call it a recipe, because, seriously…. You’ll see 😂.

I believe the point I’m trying to make with this salad, is that not all fruit salads need a dressing. These fruits come together so well, and tastes so refreshing with just their natural flavors. This is so simple and so versatile that you could throw this together at the last minute with little effort. Use your favorite fruits, add more fruits to it, make it what you want it to be.

As you can see here, I chose strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blueberries. These were the fruits I had on hand and this is often how I make this salad. I have used fresh mandarin oranges instead of the canned, but this particular time I used canned. Either one works just as well as the other. If you choose to throw in bananas, make sure you do that right before serving so they don’t get all brown and mushy.

It’s the perfect summer side dish to have with breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s perfect for a potluck or cookout, and even as a snack. I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this delicious, refreshing salad as much as I do!

 

Print Recipe
Simple & Refreshing Fruit Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, toss together strawberries, mandarin oranges, marshmallows and blueberries.
  2. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is very versatile. Add your favorite fruits and berries, like blackberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, the list is endless!

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Meatless Chili Pasta Bake

Hello everyone!

It’s a beautiful Tuesday afternoon here in my little corner of the world in the southern half of Indiana. A bit humid though. I love the sunshine, but the humidity I can do without. I am very grateful for my air conditioning. My kids, however, are enjoying playing in the sprinkler. When they are done, they like to towel off and dry in the sun while eating a Fun Pop. Once spring hits, I always make sure I have a package of those in the freezer.

Enough about my day, lets talk about menu planning for just a minute. Do any of you menu plan? I always work out a menu plan before I make my shopping list, and I work by the week. I also only do dinners. I don’t plan breakfast and lunch. Each individual is on their own for that one. I always have everyone’s favorite things on hand though, so it’s easy for them to find breakfast and lunch.

Do any of you do themed menu planning? I absolutely love doing my planning that way, because I get so bored doing it. I mean lets face it, menu planning and grocery shopping are not really the most enjoyable thing to do. They are tasks and they must be done. But why not have fun with it? If I start getting bored I just change up my theme. I do have some constants though that always seem to make it into the plan somewhere. One of those is a meatless night.

I have discovered that lots of people do “Meatless Monday”. My meatless meal may not fall on a Monday, but it’s the same concept. I’ve also discovered that having at least one meatless meal a week, will save money in groceries. One last thing I’ve noticed, when I make a meatless dish, no one seems to notice or even miss it. How cool is that?!

So that’s what I have for you today, a meatless dish that you’re going to want to add to your menu to try. It’s incredibly budget friendly, and so yummy! My son wolfed it down, and then the kids polished off what was left of it the next day for lunch. I served it alongside some corn bread and a tossed crisp green salad. Easy, quick, cheap, and yummy! What could be better?! Let me show you how easy this is…

First you’re going to cook the pasta according to the package directions. Then drain it, and add it back to the pot. Then mix in your chili, salsa and corn.

Transfer that to a 13×9 casserole dish.

Now sprinkle on the cheese.

All that’s left is to pop it in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s bubbly and the cheese is melted.

I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious dish together! We sure did!

A few of my favorite things in this recipe:

  • Pyrex glass 13×9 baking dish – Mine’s blue, and also probably older, but these Pyrex dishes are perfect for just about anything. They don’t absorb food smells or stains, they are dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave & oven safe, and the lid makes taking a dish to a potluck a lot easier!
  • Oxo Good Grips nylon spoon – These are safe for non-stick cookware and also heat resistant up to 400 degrees.
  • Paula Deen cookware – I absolutely love my cookware set. I have had these for quite awhile and still don’t need to replace them. They are very reasonably priced for great cookware.


Print Recipe
Meatless Chili Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to pot and add in the chili, salsa and corn. Mix well to combine.
  3. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Baked Bagel Sandwiches

Woah! Slow down! You in a hurry? Well you still have to eat, and if you’re like me, you have to feed your family too. Don’t panic, because I’ve got just the thing! It’s easy, quick, delicious, and best of all, they can be made to each individual’s tastes. I have picky eaters in this house, so finding something everyone  loves is a challenge. There’s always that one person, know what I mean? These also work well for lunches.

Let me introduce you to my version of Baked Bagel Sandwiches. Like I said, these would make an excellent lunch, but I served them for a quick dinner. All you’d need is a quick tossed salad, or maybe some french fries to serve along side it and wham bam! You’ve got yourself a dinner! And because it calls for meats and cheeses you like, everyone ends up happy!

Shh… you hear that? That’s the sound of no one fussing! Doesn’t get better than that! So lets build these right quick. Here we go!

Now, I know my family and I love bold flavors, so I chose the onion bagels. You can use whatever kind of bagel suits you. Although I wouldn’t use any of the sweet variety, that might be a little odd. 😂

So split your bagels and place the bottoms in a 13×9 baking dish. Then add 1 slice of cheese, pile on however much meat you want, then the 2nd slice of cheese, and your bagel tops.

Now take your small bowl an melt your butter in the microwave. Once it’s melted, stir in the horseradish mustard with a fork just to combine it. Now you’re gonna drizzle that over the tops of your bagel sandwiches, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake them for about 20-30 minutes. We just want to warm them through and melt that cheese.

That’s it! That’s all there is to it! Now you’re ready to enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Baked Bagel Sandwiches Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Split the bagels and place bottom halves in a 13x9 baking dish.
  3. Layer a slice of cheese on each bottom half, then pile on your meat or combination of meats, then second slice of cheese and finally the bagel tops.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter and horseradish mustard. Drizzle over bagel tops.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until warm throughout and the cheese is melted.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Thomas Bagels

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Chicken, Veggie & Rice Casserole

After this long weekend and returning to every day life, you’re probably going to be looking for an easy weeknight meal. Well, surprise surprise, I have what you are looking for! Today I’m sharing with you my Chicken, Veggie and Rice casserole. It’s so simple, and just perfect for busy weeknights, or for when you’re just tired and don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. I mean, you need time to put your feet up and have a glass of wine. I’m just saying.

This recipe calls for cooked chicken, which increases the ease of it. If you already have cooked chicken in your freezer (which I like to keep stocked up on), or if you have leftovers from the night before, great! If you don’t have any already cooked chicken, to keep this recipe simple, you can grab a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store deli. That will do just fine.

All you need to round out this meal is a tossed salad. So lets just jump right in so you can get to relaxing!

A few of my favorite things I used in this recipe:

  • Pyrex 4 qt. glass mixing bowl – I love this giant bowl. I use it to mix casseroles together before putting them in the casserole dish, and I also love it because I can make a huge batch of salads to take to potlucks or to have at any party. Lots of space in this one. Plus Pyrex is non-porous so it won’t absorb food odors, flavors or stains, and it’s oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher safe.
  • Paula Deen Cookware – I absolutely love my cookware set. Paula Deen has many different sets, but this is the one I have and I love it. Always cooks evenly, washes easily, never stains.
  • Pioneer Woman Ceramic Bakeware Set – I just got this set and I adore them! They’re so pretty, not to mention easy to wash.


Print Recipe
Chicken, Veggie & Rice Casserole Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare your rice according to the package directions.
  3. In a very large bowl, combine rice, chicken, soup, milk, carrots, green beans, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Spoon into a 2 1/2 - 3 qt. casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Flip on the broiler, and broil for a minute or two, just to brown the bread crumbs. Watch closely so you don't burn it.
  6. Serve & enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Del Monte.

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Garlic & Rosemary Green Beans

Green beans! I’m always looking for new ways to prepare green beans, and it’s not because I grow an abundance in my garden. In fact I’m new at gardening and only planted a couple of things to see if I could even do it LOL. It was a little scary, but It’s shaping up!

Anyway, back to green beans. They are one of the very very few vegetables I can get my husband to eat. He loves green beans, green salads, tomatoes, and that’s pretty much the extent of it. No corn, no peas, carrots are tolerable, no zucchini, no squash of any kind for that matter. Yea he’s picky. Needless to say, we eat a lot of salads around here! I don’t always want salads though.

About once a week, I like to have what most people call Sunday Dinner. You know, where it’s a bit fancier than the quick meals that are served during the week. It’s more than a casserole and tossed salad. Usually it’s a meat and potatoes kind of deal, and of course a veggie side for that beautiful color and nutrition.  We’re not always tied down to only Sundays. Sometimes the convenient day for such a meal is during the week. It all just depends on scheduling, and keeping the main focus in sight, to all be together!

So, one beautiful Sunday early evening we had some family over, and my husband’s Aunt brought some beautiful lamb chops. Ohhh man, we love lamb! I know, you’re here for the green beans! I got this! So anyway, I decided to make these green beans to go along side the lamb, and oh my, it was so delicious! It would go well with any meat, but if it were any meat other than the lamb, it probably would have stolen the show. This green bean dish is bold in flavor due to the garlic. If you are not a huge garlic fan, you can cut back on how much you use. We love the stuff, and we like a lot of garlic flavor. Plus, the rosemary goes so very well with garlic and it’s so fragrant. Your kitchen is going to smell heavenly!  This is quite an easy side dish, even with the blanching process. You can blanch the green beans ahead of time if you want to. I did. The reason I blanch them first, is because we like our green beans soft, plus blanching them gives it such a pretty bright green color.

After blanching (which only takes a minute or two), everything is tossed into a skillet to saute until the green beans reach your desired doneness. Like I said, we like our’s soft. Not mushy, but soft. So while sauteing, in between stirs, I would cover the pan. It took about 10 minutes or so for that many green beans. But it was perfect! The lamb chops were finished at the same time! Booya!

Absolutely delicious, and beautiful flavor! I hope you try them with your family and enjoy them as much as we did!

A few of my favorite things used in this recipe:

  • Calphalon 12-inch non-stick fry pan – I love this pan. I use it for just about anything you’d need a large skillet or saute pan for. It’s durable, and made for even heating.
  • Heirbls Kitchen Tongs – Every kitchen needs a good set of tongs. These are easy to clean and easy to store. These are great for tossing salads, turning meat including bacon, sauteing things like these green beans and a lot more. Very versatile cooking tool.
Print Recipe
Garlic & Rosemary Green Beans Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare your ice bath. Get a very large bowl, fill with ice, and water.
  2. Once the water starts to boil, add green beans and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are crisp tender and bright green. Drain, and immediately submerge green beans into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
  3. In a large saute pan or large skillet, heat olive oil, pressed garlic and rosemary. Stir in green beans to coat. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until green beans reach desired texture. We like ours soft, but not mushy and limp, so I covered the pan in between stirs, and it took approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Adapted from BigOven

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Simple Marinated Pork Chops

Have you fired up your grill yet? We pretty much BBQ all year round here at  Fort Awesome, but mostly in the Spring and Summer. It started getting warm here in Indiana long before it was supposed to, so we’ve been grilling up a storm! I absolutely love food off the grill. Kabobs, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak and lets not forget pork chops! Grilled pork chops are really the only way I enjoy them. Sure there’s times I’ve baked them and they turn out pretty good, but grilled is my favorite! Especially since I have a dedicated grill master and I don’t have to do it. I’m more of an indoor cook. I prepare the sides while he grills. I think it’s fair! Especially since he’s so darn good at it! So keeping with the grilling, I’ve got a great pork chop recipe for you. The marinade is so simple. It tastes fancy schmancy and has beautiful bold flavors, but it’s impressively easy and simple. As my husband says “simple is the way to go!” Amen to that! Today I give to you…..

This is so easy, you can sleep through most of the process. I mean literally sleep through most of the process. Here I’ll show you. First of all there are only 10 ingredients. Take the first 9 and whisk it up in a bowl.

Like so. My hanging pots and pans rack was not part of the marinade, by the way. That’s just me still learning how to take decent pictures and I’ve got quite the reflection there! 😂 Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you.” – Groucho Marx. Anyway, to stay on topic and get to the part where you sleep through most of this recipe, just put your pork chops in a zip top bag, pour the marinade in, and seal it up. Turn it to coat.

Now place it in the fridge overnight and let it get all happy, while you…. go to bed! See? I told you that you get to sleep through most of this. When you’re ready to grill the next day, discard the marinade and grill your chops over medium heat, lid closed for about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on how thick or thin your chops are. It’s always a good idea to have a meat thermometer handy. You’ll want these to be at at least 145 degrees. Then take them off the grill, let them rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!

A few of my favorite things I use in this recipe:

  • Pyrex bowls – They are inexpensive and don’t break as easily as other glass bowls, and believe me… I break a lot of dishes just by being my clumsy self LOL.
  • Oxo Good Grips Silicone Balloon Whisk – I love these! They’re durable and I can use them on teflon without scratching up my pan. I love using a whisk when making scrambled eggs. No more metal whisks for this girl.
Print Recipe
Marinated Pork Chops Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Grilling
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Grilling
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients; set aside.
  2. Add pork to a large resealable plastic zip top bag. Pour the marinade over the pork then seal bag and turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Drain and discard marinade. Grill over medium heat, covered, for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let meat stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

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Kids in the Kitchen: Baked Apple Pudding

Happy Wednesday everyone! Mid-week, we’re almost to Friday, just a couple days more! I have treat for you though. We’re going back in time just a smidge. We’re going back to the Pioneer days. I’m talking 1800s folks. And I’m bringing my daughter along with us. Actually, she brought us along with her. She had a project that she had to do for school. They were studying things about the Pioneers. They were given a small list to choose from for their project like build a small log cabin or covered wagon, or make a pioneer toy, or make a pioneer recipe and bring enough for the class to sample. Well guess what she chose?! Yea, it’s no big surprise. So I set out to ask my good friend Google for some Pioneer recipes. I was surprised to find a lot more than I had expected, and even more surprised at how easy a lot of them are. Now this recipe in particular is, in my opinion, more of a fall recipe. It has all those fall flavors in it like apples and cinnamon. To me that screams fall. However, I knew that her classmates were going to be sampling this, so I wanted to make sure we made something most kids would enjoy eating. So, we chose this recipe for Baked Apple Pudding. I have no idea where the original recipe came from, seeing as how it was the 1800s and all. I do not claim it as my own, I simply found it on a google search, and now I’m sharing it with you.

We learned some cool things about the Pioneers and what cooking was like for them. For instance, cooking was a major part of their daily life. A lot of work went into making sure they had enough to eat. They raised their own meat, they had huge gardens. They made things like sausage and smoked meats. They did a lot of canning, pickling and other preserves. Breads, cakes, pies were all made from scratch from whatever they had available. They separated milk into cream for butter and baking, and milk for drinking. They never wasted food either. Dried out bread was made into bread pudding and bones were turned into soup. I suppose if we all worked as hard as they did to provide their own food, we’d probably have a lot less waste too. Nothing irks me more than wasted food. Anyway, one last point before I bring out the pudding, as you can imagine, cookbooks were not really a thing back in those days. They weren’t readily available (and you know they didn’t have google). Cooking was a past down art. It was either that or trial and error, but you would figure it out. This is why I find it so important to cook with our kids. Even today we still pass down the art of cooking. A tradition that should never end.

So baked apple pudding! Here we go! It’s really an easy recipe and doesn’t take much time to put together. The most time consuming part was grating the apples. We’ll get to that part in a minute, but first, you wanna combine your egg, sugar and butter. You want to beat that until it’s creamy. The recipe was written as using 1 cube of butter. Yea don’t feel bad, I had to google that. It’s 1 stick. As Paula Deen would say “We’re gonna use a whole stick a butter y’all!” 😂

Yes, we used the kitchen power tools, we cheated a bit. So once you have those three things combined and creamy, you can set that aside. Here comes the messy part. You gotta grate the apples. I did this by hand like I would grate cheese. It’s messy, but kinda fun, and the most time consuming part of the recipe. Once it’s done, everything else is a breeze. I grated the apples for her while she finished up step 1. No need to peel the apples, you want peel and all. Although I did core the apples first. You can use a food processor to shred the apples if you want to, to speed things up. However you want to do it, so long as they are shredded/grated. Then toss that in the bowl with the butter mixture, and fold it in until combined, then add your dry ingredients and combine that well. We left out the nuts, as Andrea is allergic to them. Also, if you’re sharing this with a classroom, you may want to leave the nuts out just in case of allergies. We did not miss the nuts. The recipe did not specify what kind of pan or dish to bake this in, and did not say whether or not to grease the pan or dish. So I went with common sense. I use a 1 1/2 quart oval baking dish, and I did spray it with cooking spray.

So at this point it looks like oatmeal. And honestly, before it’s baked, tastes like apple cinnamon oatmeal. I know it doesn’t look appetizing, but neither does oatmeal. 😂 Now you’re ready to bake this. Let me tell ya folks, this dessert is very fragrant. My whole house smelled of apples and cinnamon and oh man… it was heavenly. So meanwhile… as the pudding bakes in the oven….

Yea, clean up time! 😂

After about 30-40 minutes,  your baked apple pudding is done. It’s nice and browned on top, a little crisp, but the inside is moist and delicious. Almost like a bread pudding, but there’s no bread. Typically this is served with a bit of cream, or the recipe also says “a white sauce”. Not really sure what that is, so I’d go with whipped cream! It’s absolute amazing with a dollop of whipped cream. Needless to say, Andrea got a very good grade on this project.

~Happy trails!

Print Recipe
Baked Apple Pudding Yum
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Beat egg, sugar and butter.
  2. Add apples and mix well.
  3. Add dry ingredients.
  4. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. (see note)
  5. Serve with cream or a white sauce. (see note)
Recipe Notes

*A cube of butter is 1 stick of butter.

The recipe did not specify what kind of pan or dish to bake this in, and did not say whether or not to grease the pan or dish. So I went with common sense. I use a 1 1/2 quart oval baking dish, and I did spray it with cooking spray.

No clue what white sauce is, but whipped cream is fantastic on this!

Source: chronicleoftheoldwest.com

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Lighter Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

It’s Wednesday folks, and I don’t have a wine to share with you! 😱 I know, right? Imagine how I feel! Being wineless. It happens though, but don’t worry! I’ve got an amazing pasta salad recipe for you though! It’s that time of the year where people fire up the grill, host cookouts, or get invited to cookouts and outdoor potlucks. When the grill masters get that itch to fire up the grill, that’s when it’s the perfect time for pasta salads, potato salads, fruit salads, you name it cold salads to make their grand entrance! This one in particular will steal the spotlight, and if you’re still working hard  to eat healthier, like I promised myself I would, or if you just want to keep your lovely figure, don’t worry! This beautiful salad is all lightened up. It tastes absolutely sinful though. I found the original recipe over on Life in the Loft House, and thought to myself “how can I lighten this up so I can enjoy this without feeling guilty?” Well, here’s what I came up with! Come on in the kitchen and I’ll show you how simple this is. Another one of my favorite things about the salad. Simple!

So first, you’re going to cook your Rotini pasta until it’s al dente. That should take about 8 minutes or so. While that’s bubbling away on the stove, dump your mayo, sour cream and ranch dressing mix in a large bowl.

Then whisk it up real good until it’s all combined. When your pasta is finished cooking, drain that, and rinse it in cold water until cool. Set the pasta aside and cut your grape tomatoes in half.

Now add your pasta, bacon (which I used a pkg. of real bacon pieces), tomatoes, olives and cheese to the large bowl with the dressing.

Toss gently to combine. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. I hope you enjoy this delicious, creamy pasta salad as much as we all did.

 

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dry ranch dressing mix, garlic powder and milk with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Add pasta, cooked bacon pieces, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Gently toss to completely combine everything together.
  3. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

If after chilling in the fridge, and your salad seems a little dry, just add a little milk and stir to combine to moisten it up.

Slightly adapted from Life in the Lofthouse

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Light and Refreshing Berry Fruit Salad + Kids In The Kitchen

Monday already!? What a busy weekend we had over here! The weekend just flew by. The weather here was so incredibly nice, you couldn’t resist firing up the grill, spending time with friends on Saturday and having a great potluck (or pitch-in as the native Hoosiers call it) with tons of delicious food, and then spending a beautiful Sunday with family, once again firing up that grill for a wonderful meal. We had soooo much food this weekend and I have sooo much to share with you. The first thing I must share with you though, is my favorite part of this weekend. My daughter spent some time looking at recipes (just like her mother) and decided she wanted to make something for me. She knows I absolutely LOOOOVE love love love fruit salad. Her and I share a deep love and passion for all things strawberry. So she came across a recipe over at Kristine’s Kitchen Blog. We modified it just very slightly, and came out with a brand new favorite fruit salad! My daughter was SO excited! She went to the store with her Grandma, shopping list in hand, and bought all of the things she needed to make this.

I gotta tell you guys, one of my favorite things to do is cook with my kids. For the moment, it’s just the one out of the four that seems interested, but that’s ok! We have so much fun. And it’s so important to get your kids in the kitchen and cook with them. My mom and grandma did with me. I think the first thing my mom taught me how to make was spaghetti sauce. I’m not 100% certain, but it’s definitely the one I remember the most. I enjoyed it, but as I got to be a teen, I swore I wanted nothing to do with it anymore or anything else domestic related. 😂😂😂😂 So here I am many years later, a stay at home mom, and all things domestic, loving every minute of it.  Here’s the thing guys, when those kids show interest in helping, no matter what it is, harness it. Let them help. They want to be part of something. They want to spend time with you. Don’t wave them off, bring them in the kitchen with you. There’s always something they can do.

Because I believe so heavily that kids in the kitchen is so important, I want to make it a regular on my blog. Maybe it will give you some ideas to try with your kids, or grandkids, nieces, nephews, what have ya. So let do this! Come join me and Andrea (age 10) in my kitchen while we introduce you to this beautiful fruit salad!

This is a very easy salad, with plenty of things for the kiddos to help with. I started off by pitting the cherries, and cutting up the strawberries into bite size pieces. Then I had Andrea pretty much do the rest, starting with rinsing and patting the berries (very gently of course) dry.

Then once she patted them dry, she put them all in a big bowl. I used the largest bowl I have, to make sure she had enough room to gently toss with ease, when it came time for that.

This is the part where we stood back and commented to each other how pretty that looked. The berries are just so vibrant in color. I love naturally beautiful fruit salads. Our next step was to mix the very simple, yet incredible dressing. We got a small bowl and mixed together some lime juice and some honey. You can use fresh lime juice if you want to, but we used bottled.

Once that was all mixed up, it was time to drizzle that all over the berries.

Then you very carefully and gently toss to combine it all and coat the berries in that wonderful dressing. Andrea has watched me in the kitchen so often, and we have of course done some cooking together before, that she is fully aware that the cook gets to taste! We did not skip this step. We tasted, we were both very dramatic about how wonderful it already tasted, and then had to cover it and put it in the fridge before we sat there and just ate the whole thing right away! This salad is so incredibly light and refreshing, even after a big meal like what we had. Perfect light dessert. You could serve it with a dollop of whipped cream if you wish. We could not wait to share this with our family! Everyone (except my berry hating husband) absolutely loved it! Andrea got a lot of praises for this.  I hope you and your kids enjoy this salad as much as we did!

 

Print Recipe
Light and Refreshing Berry Fruit Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rinse and very gently pat your berries and cherries dry.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and honey. Pour over fruit and toss gently to coat.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Fruit salad is always best served the same day it's made, but it's still good the next day.
Recipe Notes

Very slightly adapted from kristineskitchenblog.com

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Healthy Pineapple Green Smoothie

So here it is, May 9, 2017. Like a lot of people, I kinda made myself a promise at the beginning of the year, as cliché as it sounds, I was serious about it. Most people say they’re going to lose such and such amount of pounds. I on the other hand, didn’t want to make myself any promises I couldn’t actually keep. So I promised myself I would live a healthier life, starting this year. The reason for this promise to myself, is because I feel tired all the time, my energy level is actually a joke. I also had a heart attack a couple years ago, and I hadn’t even hit 40 yet! If that’s not a wake up call to watch your health, I don’t know what is! So, this year, I’m as serious… as a heart attack. LOL too soon?

Anyway, for workouts, I’ve been on again off again. It’s still 2017, I can still live up to my promise! So, climbing back into the saddle, it’s time to take those workout sessions serious, let myfitnesspal help me, and eat better. I don’t diet, by the way. I call it “eating better”. Diets are these things that just set you up for failure, by depriving you of the things you love. If you love chocolate chip cookies, there’s no reason in the world you can’t have one. It’s all a matter of how many of those cookies you have. Speaking of things I love, and I do have a sweet tooth, I love fruit. Fruit is like a two-fer for me. It’s healthy AND it’s sweet! Can’t beat that! So what I’ve got for you today, is a wonderfully healthy smoothie. I use this as a snack actually. A post-workout snack to be precise. I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but after a good workout, I’m starving! We all have to hydrate and replenish after a good workout, and this is my favorite way to do that! Check this out….

Don’t you go poo pooing about spinach. Spinach has so many healthy things going on for it, I’d have to take all day to list them. But here’s a few, a little blurb taken from foodfacts.mercola.com: “Health Benefits of Spinach: Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.” If you need more reasons to eat your leafy greens, visit that website. Don’t like spinach? Or it just sounds weird in a smoothie? Don’t worry! You can’t taste it. You get all of the health benefits, without the flavor of spinach. Between the vanilla Greek yogurt, apple juice, banana and pineapple, it tastes like a tropical fruit smoothie. And the fruit, not only does it have awesome vitamins like Vitamin C to help boost your immune system, but it also helps to hydrate. This, my friends, is a perfect post workout snack. Or just a snack. YUM!

 

Print Recipe
Healthy Pineapple Green Smoothie Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from garnishandglaze.com

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