Raspberry Feta Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Raspberry Feta Salad
Now that summer has arrived and it’s finally getting warm, I am trying to keep the oven off as much as possible. That means lots of grilling and salads. We like to mix it up and create all kinds of unique salads so that we don’t get bored.
Raspberry Feta Salad
This salad is a little fancy and a lot delicious. Raspberries have been so delicious lately and they were super cheap at the grocery store recently so I may have bought 5 containers. In my house, that’s only about a 3 day supply but I managed to save 2 so that I could play around with a dressing and salad that would make them the star. But let me tell you, it was difficult keeping my children’s grubby little hands off of them. Look at this poor, undernourished girl begging by my photo set up for a raspberry and walnut.
Raspberry Feta Salad
Raspberry Feta Salad
She was so not happy when I moved her hand out of the shot.
Raspberry Feta Salad
Don’t you feel bad for her?
Raspberry Feta Salad
Just FYI, I let her have one. Anyway, now that I’m done being a mean mommy….
Raspberry Feta Salad
I used to think I didn’t like fruit in salad…until I actually tried it. Turns out it’s good. Funny how that works, huh? I love the combination of the sweetness of the raspberries and saltiness of the feta. And I always need a crunch in my salad so walnuts were the perfect addition.
Raspberry Feta Salad
I also marinated a couple of boneless chicken breasts in the dressing which resulted in incredibly moist chicken off the grill. The chicken combined with the salad made for a perfect summer meal.
Raspberry Feta Salad
Raspberry Feta Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

For the salad:
8 cups mixed greens
6 oz. raspberries
1/2 cup feta
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

For the dressing:
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. raw honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready.

2. In a large bowl add mixed greens. Top with raspberries, feta and walnuts then lightly toss. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and serve.
Raspberry Feta Salad

Kettle Chip Bark

Kettle Chip Bark 6
Living in North Dakota, I learned about a lot of interesting foods. Lefse, a delicious Norwegian potato flatbread that is amazing brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Lutefisk which is a dried and salted fish that gets gelatinous in texture. Can’t say I could ever be convinced to try that one. But best of all, the chocolate dipped potato chip.
Kettle Chip Bark 8
Why had I never thought of that before? I love chocolate dipped pretzels so you would think with my adoration of chips and all things sweet and salty, I would have gone there. But alas, the northerners beat me to it. It was the ruffle chip that I always saw dipped but I love salty, crunchy kettle chips so that’s the direction I chose.
Kettle Chip Bark 3
I’ve mentioned before how much I hate dipping things in chocolate. It’s messy, they never look as pretty and it takes forever. So I figured, why bother dipping when I can make it into a bark. The lazy man’s way to consume chocolate dipped chips.
Kettle Chip Bark 2
This bark is such a snap to make and can be done in 12 minutes with 10 of those being inactive. Melt chocolate, mix in chips, spread and top with more chips, freeze and done. If you keep a well stocked pantry, because all well stocked pantries should have chips duh, you could make this any time the sweet and salty craving strikes.
Kettle Chip Bark 1
Even my non-kettle chip loving husband loved this. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I married him too, #chipsforlife.
Kettle Chip Bark 5
Kettle Chip Bark

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crushed kettle chips, divided

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate chips are smooth and melted. Meanwhile take 1/2 cup kettle chips and crush until fine.

2. Mix finely crushed kettle chips into the melted chocolate. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle with remaining cup of crushed kettle chips. Place in freezer for 10 minutes then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Kettle Chip Bark 7

Sunday Inspiration {S’mores Edition}

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I have to admit I don’t love marshmallows. The only time I’m down with them is when they are brown, bubbly and melty between chocolate and graham crackers. Aka the s’more. With summer around the corner, s’mores are going to be all over the place. But why stop at a simple, traditional s’more when you could make them into pies, cookies and desserts galore. Am I right?

S’mores Macaroons. You so fancy.

Fun and portable Mini S’mores Hand Pies.

Making anything sweet and salty is always a good choice.

S’mores Buttercream Frosting, whaaaat?

S’mores for breakfast? Yes and yes.

S’mores Cookie Dough Dip. You all know how I feel about dip.

Make ’em boozy

Add fruit, it makes them healthy.

I’m seriously dying over this pie.

Toasted S’mores Milkshake. Enough said.

Ooey Gooey s’mores combined with oatmeal cookies. Winning combination.

A kid’s dream right here.

A new campfire spin on s’mores.

So there you have it, enough s’mores recipes to last you all summer.

Photo Friday

My main squeeze graduated from preschool on Saturday and his last day of school was yesterday. Hold me. There are times that I am so ready for him to go to Kindergarten but the thought of it kind of makes me hyperventilate at the same time. We are so sad to be leaving his amazing teachers at his preschool and he was pretty bummed about that which breaks my heart.

I talked about graduation day on Monday so I won’t repeat myself with the details but I still wanted to share some pictures from the day.

The school set up a table with pictures of all the kids and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Man, I love this kid.
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Getting ready to sing us some songs and his favorite was “We’ll Be Going to Kindergarten in the Fall.”
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Family picture.
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Being a goofball with Uncle Trey.
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And more goofball behavior.
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I had to throw this one in too. After the graduation and lunch, we went back to the house for cupcakes and fun. The babies were waiting rather impatiently for the bounce house to be blown up outside.
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Red, White and Blue Layered Milkshake

Red, White and Blue Milkshake 2
With Memorial Day right around the corner, I wanted to share a patriotic treat that would be perfect for the holiday (or the 4th of July). My dad served in the Air Force for 20 years and that’s something that has always made me incredibly proud. The sacrifice that our servicemen and servicewomen make for our freedom is huge. So I want to say thank you to all who have served and especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country as well as to their families.
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 1
I don’t know about you guys but I love a dessert themed around a holiday so when I was thinking about what to share with you all for Memorial Day, I couldn’t get red, white and blue out of my head. Although this isn’t a true red, white and blue you still get a hint of color and loads of flavor from the strawberries and blueberries that are added to vanilla ice cream. You could, of course, add food coloring to the red and blue layers to make it more authentically patriotic but I didn’t feel the need.
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 6
The perfect base for this milkshake is Breyer’s All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s made with sustainably sourced vanilla and milk from hormone-free cows. It has such a simple, vanilla flavor that is perfect on it’s own or with additional flavors like in this milkshake.
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 7
I thought Noah was going to explode with excitement when we were making this. And as much as he likes helping style and photograph the food, he was really pressuring me to hurry it up so he could take a big slurp.
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 3
With just a few simple ingredients, a blender and a couple minutes, you too could have a perfectly patriotic milkshake. And don’t think this is only for the holidays. You could mix it up and add any kind of fruit to make it fit into whatever celebration you may be having. I think layers mixed with coconut, pineapple and strawberry would be so refreshing for summer. Mixed berries would be perfect right now since they are in season. The options are limitless.
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 4
Red, White and Blue Layered Milkshake

For the red layer:
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
4 frozen strawberries (or cherries or strawberries)
6 Tbsp. milk

For the white layer:
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup milk

For the blue layer:
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
5 Tbsp. milk

sprinkles

1. For the red layer: place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into the bottom of a glass.

2. For the white layer: rinse out blender and place ice cream and milk into blender. Blend until smooth and pour on top of the red layer.

3. For the blue layer: rinse out blender, place ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour on top of white layer. Top with patriotic sprinkles and fun straw.

*I was provided the ice cream for this recipe but all opinions are my own.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I just realized it’s been over a year since I shared a cookie recipe. Say what? Super weird seeing that we make cookies quite a bit. But I guess we have our favorites and don’t always branch out.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 4
Well, Noah and I were craving cookies recently so we decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I love a cookie with a little texture and chew so when I came across this recipe, I had a feeling it would be a winner. Especially since it’s been declared King Arthur Flour’s Recipe of 2015. That’s quite a claim so we felt it our civic duty to make sure.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 3
I haven’t tried any of their other recipes but I have to say these were pretty dang delicious. They are packed with melty chocolate chips, chewy oats and crunchy walnuts (not in the original recipe). Pretty much my dream come true when it comes to cookies.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 2
My only complaint is that they didn’t stay fresh for very long, probably 3 days max. But, if you’re like us and don’t eat your way through a batch in that amount of time, you could freeze half for when your sweet tooth hits.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 1
Do you like nuts in your cookies? I’ve found people either love them or hate them. I think they totally make a cookie but Joel of course doesn’t agree so I usually bake half without and the other half with so we can both be happy. The kids will take a cookie any way I give it to them so they are easy to please! If you don’t dig walnuts, just leave them out. I taste tested both options, for you guys of course, and they are great either way.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined. Add in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients until dough comes together.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack.

 

Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin

Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin
My little man graduated from preschool on Saturday. And I kept it together through the whole ceremony. Mostly. Both of those facts are incredibly hard for me to believe. You know the saying, “the days are long but the years are short.” I’m pretty sure there is nothing more true. It’s seriously mind boggling how this has happened. Where did my baby go? Well, I’ll always call him my baby especially when he’s an obnoxious teenager and his friends are over.
Preschool Graduation
I noticed today that he’s getting hair on his legs. What? Slow down time.

We had lots of family and friends come to his graduation and help us celebrate. After the ceremony we went to Noah’s favorite restaurant, HuHot. I gave him the choice of me cooking whatever he wanted or going out to lunch. He chose out. Major burn for a food blogger but how can you compete with food being cooked with giant sticks? In a 4 year olds mind, you’re never going to win against that.

I did make these cute graduation hat cupcakes, roasted strawberry ice cream (with lemon Oreos mixed in) and raspberry white chocolate chunk ice cream and they were all big hits. It was a wonderful celebration with amazing family and delicious food. Which brings me to today’s post.
Graduation Cupcakes
After all that decadence this weekend, I feel the need to lighten things up. This Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin is a great meal after over indulging on the weekend and the perfect Meatless Monday dish.

It comes together quickly and is really hearty and filling. I’m new to farro and this was only the 3rd time I’ve cooked it and has definitely been my favorite version. Farro has a nutty flavor that goes particularly well with the creamy parmesan sauce that it’s coated in for this dish. I mean, a cheesy sauce that’s still healthy? You’re sold right?

When cooking the farro, be careful not to let it absorb all of the liquid otherwise you won’t yield a creamy sauce. I’m speaking from experience here so trust me. The first time I made this, I wasn’t keeping a close eye on it and it got dry quickly. It was still yummy but didn’t have the smooth, sauciness that you look for in a gratin.
Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin 2
The navy beans add a dose of protein to the dish and help plump it up as a main dish.

I am always looking for new ideas to add to my arsenal of meatless Monday meals and this one is definitely going into the rotation. It uses a few different ingredients than our usual meatless meals but still has that cheese to bring it home for the boys. Win, win.

Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin
recipe adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups farro
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper
1 lb. broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Add one teaspoon olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the farro and cook until it’s lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in stock and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat and continue simmering, stirring often, until the remaining liquid has thickened into a creamy sauce and farro is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan, salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, lightly steam the broccoli, about 3-4 minutes. In a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining oil (1 tablespoon) and garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the navy beans and cooked farro.

3. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with shredded cheddar. Place under the broiler until browned and bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.