tri-berry lattice pie

“Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?” That’s how I actually felt when I acted cool and calm purchasing a pint of gooseberries from a local farm this past weekend. While I looked like I was on a mission for them, I’ve actually never encountered a gooseberry in my life! But here’s the thing…they were packing purchases in these great reusable grocery bags that I just had to have! (I know, I know!) So here’s what I found…

These small green berries pack a sweet bite and are often used in pies, tarts, or jams. Since I’d only bought a pint, I decided to mix them with some more traditional fruit fillings like strawberries or blueberries and bake (eek!) a pie. The addition of a squeeze of lemon juice brightened the flavors and a little whipped cream never hurt! If you can’t find gooseberries, just replace them with an extra 2 cups of one of the others. Here’s my Tri-Berry Lattice Pie.

Strawberry, Blueberry, Gooseberry Lattice Pie

Strawberry, Blueberry, Gooseberry Lattice Pie

{click here to keep baking!…}

orange ginger shrimp and pineapple kabobs

I’ve always loved the way a sweet fruit has the ability to turn into a savory dish once it hangs for a few minutes on a hot grill in the summer time. Caramelizing sugars in the fruit with a little heat gives them a whole new dimension of flavor that makes them main course ready! Here’s a fresh and fast dinner that’s perfect for any night of the week and light enough for the hottest summer days. Here’s my recipe for Orange Ginger Shrimp and Pineapple Kabobs.

Orange Ginger Pineapple and Shrimp Kabobs

Orange Ginger Pineapple and Shrimp Kabobs

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homemade tot friendly chicken nugget bites

My little guy loves his chicken nuggets and while there are some great and convenient frozen ones, the sodium is often high and I feel better homemaking most of his meals. Here’s a great way to make nuggets yourself while still keeping them tender, juicy, and easy to chew for newly chomping toddlers! Fully cook them before freezing and you have an easy go-to weeknight meal for those days when it’s daddy’s turn for dinnertime :) Here’s my recipe for Tot Friendly Chicken Nugget Bites.

Toddler Nuggets!

Toddler Nuggets!

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sunny days, a recipe to sweep those clouds away!

My son recently turned one and oh what an extravaganza it turned out to be! Our simple backyard barbecue quickly spiraled into an event that made you feel as though you were talking a walk down the actual Sesame Street set. After months of planning every detail, down to the “Rubber Ducky Punch,” it was a great time had by all and other than my handsome little guy, the star of the show was my Sesame themed cupcake/cake tower. Yes, it would have been easier to buy a cake, but I saved a ton of money by doing them myself and I absolutely loved the way they came out! Anyone who has read my blog before knows I am NOT a baker, but follow a few step-by-step directions and you’ll be sweeping the clouds away with these sweet treats in no time at all!

Sesame Street Cupcakes

Sesame Street Cupcakes

The second *sweetest* thing of the day!

The second *sweetest* thing of the day!

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my favorite caprese salad

There are so many great ways to build this classic summertime salad. We grow our own basil in our herb garden every year. It’s easy to maintain and grows like wildfire. A readily available ingredient, this dish is a go-to staple during the warm summer nights. Whether you stack it, skewer it, or toss it in a dish, try my fun and simple alternative to Caprese Salad using homemade garden pesto and ripe tomatoes.

Caprese Skewars

Caprese Skewers

A dish that serves as the perfect side or shines as a main course!

A dish that serves as the perfect side or shines as a main course!

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blistered grilled “uncle” potatoes

Some of my favorite recipes are the ones that get passed around through the family by word of mouth. There’s no “perfect” way to make them and most can be tweaked and twisted into different culinary concoctions resulting in different delightful treats. Here’s a recipe that couldn’t be simpler and puts a new, summery face on the classic baked potato. Here’s my uncles recipe for Blistered and Grilled Potatoes.

Blistered and grilled

Blistered and grilled “uncle” potatoes!

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spring fusilli pasta and peas with chicken, asparagus, and herbs

I have really become a fan of fast cooking and prep ahead meals these days with a little one who’s needing more and more of my attention and another on the way in a few months! I always have a few pieces of poached chicken on hand in order to add some much needed protein to our dinners quickly. Just bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, pepper, oregano, cloves of garlic, anything that you may have laying around in the spice cabinet, then add the chicken. Let simmer lightly for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breast. And now you have a perfectly moist addition ready to go!

This is a recipe I adapted from this month’s Cooking Light magazine. I think adding a little extra EVOO and dijon really helped keep these fresh flavors moist and blending nicely! It’s a great dish for weeknights or to make in large batches for when you have friends and family over. Here’s the springtime recipe of Fusilli Pasta and Peas with Chicken, Asparagus, and Herbs.

Spring herbs, peas, and asparagus make this a tasty family favorite!

Spring herbs, peas, and asparagus make this a tasty family favorite!

{click here to keep cooking!}…