Creamy Garlic House Dressing

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield and Taylor Farms. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

I know a lot of you think of summer as “salad season” or for some of you spring and a little bit of winter is as well if you are trying to eat a little healthier. For me I eat salad all year long. I obviously have phases, but I enjoy salads a lot. When I am super busy, like right now, a salad mix where I can simply toss the pre-washed lettuce into a bowl and put some add-ins in there is gold.

This Baby Spring Mix from Taylor Farms is great for that. I can tell it’s been washed and then dried. You don’t take some from the top and find a giant glob of soggy lettuce in the middle. The lettuce is super fresh and you can taste it. I don’t want to have to worry about my lettuce. It needs to be fresh and clean and safe for me to eat. That way I can get on with what I really love. Salad dressing! I love all kinds. I think the only one I’ve ever turned my nose up at is Blue Cheese, yet I’ll dunk a chicken wing in that any day. When I want something indulgent and creamy I make this house dressing. Of course it isn’t actually too indulgent thanks to Stonyfield Yogurts. It’s healthy and tastes great and gives my body what it needs. It also has a great flavor that really heightens the flavor of dressing. This dressing is cool and creamy. I’ve played around a bit to try to have a great garlic flavor without being too garlicky. Remember though, as with most dressings it will get more potent the longer you let it sit.

I really need these easy meals that feel indulgent and keep me healthy. June. Seriously, I didn’t feel this busy last year, but now with two kids in school it is insane. I feel like it’s lots of fun things for the kids which means more work for me for chaperoning, making cute treats, and remembering everything. Then add all of the end of year gifts and it feels like Christmas in June. I don’t mind it though, this year my kids both had amazing teachers. It will be over before we know it and we’ll be missing school. It’s always the way isn’t it? So, whether you are scarfing down lunch in the office or at home or enjoying a lazy summer day, grab some Stonyfield yogurt, make this dressing and bring some life to your every day salads.

 

Creamy Garlic House Dressing

Ingredients

Whisk ingredients until combined and refrigerate. The longer you let sit, the bolder the flavor.

The Way to His Heart

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Popcorn Trail Mix Bars

Teacher appreciation week was a couple of weeks ago and I signed up to bring a “mid-day pick me up” treat. I wanted to steer clear of the baked goods since I knew they’d get their fair share of those, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bring in. I happened upon these on good ol’ Pinterest and knew these would be a hit. They are healthy, some great protein and natural ingredients, but they are also hit that sweet and salty combo that I know I need during the afternoon. Plus, popcorn is always a winner in my book.

These bars are filled with most everything I love. I mean, to be completely honest I would need chocolate to cover all of my bases, but I thought these were already packed full of goodness and didn’t need anything else. We’ll see what I do in the future though 🙂

The bars were a huge hit, but I’ll admit I didn’t end up bringing them in to school. When they were out for a period of time the honey started to get really sticky and I didn’t want to do that to the poor teachers. I’ll definitely make these when I know they wont be sitting out most of the day. I know they’ll enjoy them. They didn’t last long in my house!

Popcorn Trail Mix Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 8 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 2 cups old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Spread coconut on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Wipe off baking sheet and spread almonds on it. Bake until golden brown and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes,stirring once or twice. Transfer to bowl with coconut to cool.

Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine popcorn, oats, coconut, almonds, raisins and apricots.

In a small pan over low heat, combine honey, brown sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Pour honey mixture over popcorn mixture. Stir until all of the ingredients are well-coated and there are no dry spots. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Using lightly moistened palms, firmly press mixture into baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

 Yields roughly 24 bars
Source: MyRecipes 

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Mini Flower Tarts

Last month I hosted my daughter’s seventh birthday. Phew, I can’t believe she is seven and I can’t believe that was almost two months ago already. When she decided that she wanted a fairy party I knew these adorable little flower tartlets would be the perfect treat for our guests. These can be as easy or as difficult as you’d like. You an buy store-bought pie dough and store bought jams and curds or make what you want from scratch. This isn’t as much of a recipe as just a cute little idea that I just had to share with all of you. They’ll make any party feel fancier in minutes and are just so whimsical you’ll want to make up a batch whenever you have a chance!

I used raspberry preserves and lemon curd to fill these since these are my daughters favorite flavors right now but the sky is the limit with these. Think Nutella, puddings, canned pumpkin, etc. I opted not to dust these with confectioner’s sugar, or more like I forgot in the rush of party set up that morning.

Mini Flower Tarts

Ingredients

  • unbaked pie dough (double crust yields about 24 flowers)
  • lemon curd or your favorite preserves
  • 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar

Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Roll out pie crust and cut out flower shapes, re-rolling scraps and cutting until you have about 24 flowers. I used a 4-inch flower cookie cutter.

Place flower shapes into a mini muffin pan. Gently fold petals down, alternating the petals, so that they lay flat on the muffin pan. See source below for a great pictorial on this. Gently prick bottom of flowers with a fork once or twice.

Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

Fill with your favorite filling and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Source: The 350 Degree Oven

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Spicy Seasoned Pretzels

I’m late to the seasoned pretzel game. I’ve been hearing about these for a few months now and finally got around to trying them out. I know I haven’t been posting as much recently and we’ll get into all of that news soon, but I just had to share these with you just in case you are late to the game as well.

These pretzels are addictive. These are spicy, mostly having a kick at the end, but that wont stop you from going back for more. What is great about them is they are so easy to make that you can replenish your supply quickly. You can chose to go the no-bake method, my preferred way, or bake them and be snacking in no time. These are definitely great for an easy snack to offer guests or bring to a tail-gating event. I love that I can bring something as simple as pretzels and dress them up a bit.

There are so many great seasonings out there and I’ll definitely be trying a few more. Do you have any favorites I should try?

Spicy Seasoned Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bag mini pretzels
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Pour oil and all of the spices into a gallon size plastic bag. Seal and shake to combine.

Add pretzels, seal bag, and shake and turn to coat evenly.

No bake method: Simply let sit for about 24 hours, turning the bag every few hours.

Bake: Spread pretzels out on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 1 hour in a 200 F. oven, stirring several times. Allow to cool.

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Source: Tastes Lovely

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