Friday, June 24, 2016

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake in a Jar

It's hard to beat a good cheesecake.  My most favorite cheesecake ever is one that I had when Spencer took me to Las Vegas.  It was a cheesecake from Wolf Gang Puck's restaurant; a cheesecake with crème brule topping and two types of fruit compote.  Oh my gosh, it was perfection on a plate.  Smooth, silky, creamy cheese cake with a light, crispy, sugar topping.  And the fruit compote was absolutely amazing.  I promise I still have dreams about the stuff.

I know I couldn't even come close to replicating the recipe from the infamous Wolf Gang Puck, so I don't even try.  Instead, I come up with different variations, some utilizing the oven and some that are simple no-bake recipes.  I remain successful doing this!

While a classic cheesecake is truly hard to beat, trying to execute them during the summer months isn't something I do unless it's a special request.  You're talking about at least an hour or more of baking time, water baths and such.  Among other things, heating up your house in the dead of summer.  Ummm...no thank you!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Blackberry Basil Lemonade

I love lemonade year around, but when summer rolls around I get an intense urge to whip up a big batch of the tart, cold drink.  Whether it be classic yellow or some version with various other fruits, it's pretty much a given that once those temps start spiking I will be in the kitchen squeezing some lemons. 

This year isn't any different.  At the first sign of the heat I was in the kitchen whipping up a batch of ice cold lemonade and we've been sucking it down as quickly as I make it. 

One of the batches I've whipped up so far included some basil from my garden and some big, juicy blackberries.  And I must admit, it's incredibly delicious.  Tart lemons, sweet blackberries and fresh basil make a tasty combination.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Orange Cheesecake Fruit Dip

I keep our fruit bowl stocked year around, but especially during the summer months.  We eat fruit by the truckloads during the summer months.  It's healthy, refreshing and can be grabbed quickly.

We love our fruit by itself, but from time to time I like to change things up and add a little something to serve with the fruit.  This fruit dip is one of our favorites.  It's so good, flavorful and can be made in no time.  I love making a big batch of this and spooning up a bowl whenever I cut up fruit to snack on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Y'all, summer is here and my garden is bursting with fresh veggies!  Eeek!  I'm obsessed with fresh vegetables from the garden and I get giddy at the fact I'm able to walk out my back door and pluck a variety of vegetables from the garden.

The first time I made this salad was the end of last summer and I think it's safe to say I was instantly obsessed!  I was only able to make it a few times before summer finally came to an end and I've been waiting on summer to roll around again just so I could make it again.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Frosted Pink Lemonade

Happy (official) first day of summer!

Not that it hasn't felt like summer for, oh, the past three or four weeks.  I'm not sure about where you are, but here in good ol' Arkansas we went from pleasant spring days to deep summer heat over night.  For those of you that love a nice steam in the sauna just zip over to Arkansas real quick and stand outside and you'll be set!

Our temps are in the 90's but the heat index is registering about 105 so I'm loving recipes that are easy, low or no heat needed and ones that help us cool off.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Avocado Jalapeno Chicken Toastadas

This post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and #SoapBoxInfluence.  A huge thanks to Kendal King Group and Bush's #HummusMadeEasy Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

So how many of you grilled out over the weekend?  And, how many of you have leftovers sitting in your refrigerator right now?

If you could see through the computer, you would see that I'm over here frantically waiving my hands in the air.  This past weekend we broke out the smoker for the first time this year and loaded it up with ribs, wings and tons of chicken thighs.  When we smoke meat I make sure we have enough to eat immediately and to last us a few days and this time was no exception.

I love when we can get 2 to 3 different meals utilizing one key ingredient and that's exactly what I've done here.  Over the weekend I whipped up another batch of my avocado jalapeno hummus (which took no time thanks to Bush's #HummusMadeEasy packets) for us to snack on while we were playing in the pool and enjoying some of the nice weather and I ended up having a little bit left.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lemon Icebox Pie in a Jar

When I think of lemon icebox pie I instantly think of my dad.  He LOVES a good lemon icebox pie.  But it has to meet all of his requirements.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Thick, tart, without being too tart.  A great crust, but it has to be a good balance of salty and sweet and it definitely has to be crispy.  And if you want big bonus points...a meringue topping with lightly browned peaks will put it over the top.

So, when I was chatting with him about what foods he thought of when summer and Memorial day rolled around it's was no surprise that lemon icebox pie was one of the first things out of his mouth.  Among some of the other top contenders were key lime pie, banana pudding and brownies and ice cream.  But, he kept going back to the lemon icebox during the conversation.
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