Archive for the ‘Seasonal’ Category

This Saturday was the first one I have had off from work ALL summer…crazy I know! I love farmers markets and since they are usually on Saturdays I have been unable to go. I was SO excited to have this one off so I jumped at the opportunity to the local farmers market with some of my friends. This one is right down the street from my house and it was so much fun…lots of yummy food, beautiful crafts, and everything else that farmers markets have! I bought lots of fresh veggies and put together the yummiest dinner with them and a kafir lime curry sauce that I bought as well. I am definitely going to try to hit up more farmers markets before they stop in October…lots yummy and healthy fruit and veggies and I love tasting everything!!! Below are some pictures of the fresh produce and the dinner that I made with my goodies! ūüôā

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We have been having such a hot summer and the last thing that I want is to make something hot for dinner. I made this pasta salad the other night and it was light, healthy, and delicious. The best part was all of the leftovers- I think I got at least 4 meals out of it! I love the crunchiness of the veggies and knowing how healthy it is with the salmon and whole wheat pasta. It would be a fabulous side to bring to a BBQ or party!


  • 2 5oz. cans salmon (in water)
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/ 2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, mix together all other ingredients.
  3. When pasta finishes cooking, drain and let cool. Gently mix in other ingredients and put in the fridge to chill before serving.

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The added cinnamon to the classic peanut butter chocolate chip cookie makes it perfect for winter and the holidays. I got this recipe through the daily emails from MyRecipes.com and couldn’t wait to make them. They were delicious and a HUGE hit at work. The huge chocolate chunks and peanuts make them a crowd pleaser and everyone loved the taste that the cinnamon added. I can’t wait to make these again soon!

Here is the recipe, straight from MyRecipes.com:

Yield: Makes 28 cookies


  • 1/2¬† cup¬† butter, softened
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† shortening
  • 1¬† cup¬† chunky peanut butter
  • 1¬† cup¬† granulated sugar
  • 1¬† cup¬† firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2¬† large eggs
  • 2 1/2¬† cups¬† all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2¬† teaspoons¬† baking soda
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† baking powder
  • 1/2¬† teaspoon¬† salt
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† ground cinnamon
  • 1¬† cup¬† unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1¬† (11.5-ounce) bag chocolate chunks


  1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add chunky peanut butter and sugars, beating well. Add eggs, beating until blended.
  2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture, beating well.
  3. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chunks.
  4. Shape dough into 2-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie). Flatten slightly, and place on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 375¬į for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pan 1 to 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Chunk-Peanut Cookies: Reduce flour to 2 cups; add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted. Proceed as directed.


Recipe Source: MyRecipes.com

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Just in time for Halloween, here is a super fun recipe for pumpkin cupcakes! I got this recipe via the daily emails that Real Simple sends out and it seemed so quick and easy that I wanted to make them immediately. With only 6 ingredients, you can’t get a much simpler and yummy cupcake recipe!

Here is the recipe:

  • 1¬†18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†pumpkin pie spice
  • 1¬†15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2¬†8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2¬†cups¬†confectioners‚Äô sugar
  • 24¬†pieces¬†candy corn


  1. Heat oven to 350¬į F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
  2. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Zoe’s Notes: Instead of making the cream cheese frosting, I bought it pre-made… you can do it whichever way you like! I also doubled the pumpkin pie spice since I love that flavor… try it and see what you think!

Source: Real Simple

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My mom has been making pesto bread for as long as I can remember and it is one of my favorite appetizers. The combination of warm, fresh bread and flavorful pesto is oh so delicious and just thinking about it right now is making me crave it! This is a great party appetizer and it’s so easy to make. If you keep pesto frozen in your freezer, you can make pesto bread at any time of the year!


  • Pesto (homemade or store bought, but homemade is best :))
  • 1 large loaf of fresh French bread (or your favorite bread)
  • Olive oil¬†


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You can also cook this on the grill in the summertime, just turn up your grill to high.
  2. Coat one side of the bread with olive oil and the other with pesto, as much as you like.
  3. Place bread on cookie sheet (or grill) oil side down and pesto side up.
  4. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until pesto starts to melt into the bread a bit.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Note: Want to spice up your pesto bread a bit? You can add mozzarella and/or tomato, prosciutto, or whatever else you like!

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I made this last night and it was sooo delicious! Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and I love summertime since that is their peak season. Hot or cold, this crisp is tasty, refreshing, and good for you, since it is full of heart healthy oats! 

Here is the recipe…

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Bake time: 60 + minutes

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Serves: 8


  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed
  • 6 large ripe peaches, peeled, and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1/4 cup canola oil¬†
  • Cooking spray or butter, for greasing the baking dish


  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently mix peeled and cubed peaches, rinsed blueberries, and 1/2 cup white sugar.
  3. Coat a medium sized baking dish with butter or cooking spray. This prevents the crisp from sticking to it.
  4. Pour peach/blueberry/white sugar mixture into the baking dish, spreading it evenly throughout.
  5. In another medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, and oil until it becomes crumbly.
  6. Top peach/blueberry/white sugar mixture with the flour, oats, brown sugar and oil mixture, spreading this evenly also.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or more, until bubbly and browned to your liking (depending on your oven, the cooking time will vary).

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Photo Credit: Ifinite Trends

I got an email from Auntie Martha yesterday with a note about a bruschetta she was making to take to a friend’s house for dinner that evening – the ingredients were decidedly summery (namely the fresh peaches) and the combo sounded delicious so I thought I would share…

Topping: fresh tomatoes, fresh peaches, basil, parsley, onions, garlic, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar to liven it up. Served over toasted bread which she brushed with olive oil before hand. Yum!

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